Because of the work of our Parole Officers through the Union, today we passed the Reagan Tokes Act (HB365) out of the Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee by a vote of 10-1.
This is HUGE. Today’s victory would not have been possible without Parole Officers like you taking time out of your lives and work to come to Columbus for our Lobby Days and meet face-to-face with legislators about the need to address caseloads and staffing within the Adult Parole Authority.
But it gets better than that. The Chairman of the Criminal Justice Committee, Rep. Nathan Manning (R-Lorain), introduced an amendment to create the Offender Supervision Study Committee within the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission.
• Within the creation of the committee, there are requirements for membership of the committee to include an active parole officer, among others.
• There’s also a requirement that the group shall provide a recommendation to the General Assembly of changes to the revised code regarding all issues related to the supervision of offenders, including issues related to parole, community control, probation, community corrections, transitional control, and issues related to interstate compact policies.
Through our Union, Parole Officers now have a seat at the table going forward. That’s the power of collective action!
The process still has many steps – but this is a major victory for our members. The next step will be a vote by the Ohio House of Representatives, then the bill will go to the Senate and eventually to Governor Kasich for his signature. I will keep you updated as the process moves forward.