Malcolm Jenkins, beloved Ohio State Buckeye star and safety for the New Orleans Saints, has voiced his support for Ohio Senate Bill 3, a major criminal justice reform measure that will promote drug treatment, safely reduce incarceration for those struggling with addiction, and save taxpayer money. This landmark legislation has already passed the Ohio Senate with an overwhelming bipartisan vote and is poised for a vote in the Ohio House Criminal Justice Committee this week. It could be on the floor of the House for a final vote within a week.
Senate Bill 3 reduces penalties for certain low-level, non-violent offenses, particularly drug possession offenses. Under the legislation, which is sponsored by Senator John Eklund (R-18) and Sean O'Brien (D-32), most possession crimes would be reclassified as misdemeanors rather than felonies. The bill also decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana, and limits the use of prison for technical violations of community supervision. Long-time criminal justice reform champion and House Majority Floor Leader Bill Seitz (R-30) is shepherding the legislation through the House, which must get the groundbreaking legislation to the Governor's desk this month before the legislature adjourns for the year.
"As a proud Buckeye, and champion for racial and social justice, I wholeheartedly support this effort," Jenkins said. "I am proud to be part of the Ohio State family and urge the Ohio House to vote yes on Senate Bill 3."
Historically, populations impacted by the existing law have been disproportionately low-income and African-American. Senate Bill 3 offers a second chance to first-time drug offenders, helping to address racial disparities in the state's criminal justice system. It also aims to safely reduce incarceration in Ohio by 2,500 people, saving taxpayers $75 million each year.
About Justice Action Network
Justice Action Network is the largest bipartisan 501(c)(4) organization in the country advocating for criminal justice reform at the state and federal level. From state houses to the White House, Justice Action Network and its partners from the right to the left have paved the way for life-changing criminal justice reforms that safely reduce incarceration, provide second chance opportunities, save taxpayer dollars, and make our communities safer. For more information on their work, visit www.justiceactionnetwork.org.