Support the Ohio Sentencing Data Platform
All Ohioans deserve equal treatment under the law, no matter our race, background, or zip code. At a gut level, we know that justice is too often denied, particularly for Black, Indigeous People of Color and other marginalized communities. Current data practices prevent us from measuring implicit bias and rooting out discrimination in our courts because we don’t know the answers to basic questions such as:
How many people were sentenced to a specific felony this year? [And compare results across race/ethnicity/income].
How many people were given probation? [And compare results across race/ethnicity/income].
What were the average plea bargains accepted for a particular felony? [And compare results across race/ethnicity/income].
Now with the help of the Ohio Sentencing Data Platform we can bring more fairness, transparency and accountability to our court system. This pilot project collects uniform and comprehensive demographic data to assess the fairness of sentences across the state by factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, and age of defendants. This data-collection is an essential tool in working toward bias-free sentencing, one that will provide guidance for judges and improve the public's trust in our justice system. It has bipartisan support from Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justice Michael Donnelly and is already being piloted in 15% of Ohio’s counties, with more judges coming onboard every week. But it will need legislative funding in order for the project to be successful and be implemented in courtrooms across the entire state.
Will you contact your lawmaker today and tell them they should support funding for the Ohio Sentencing Data Platform?