Ohio’s Sentencing Policies and Practices, Costs and Consequences
February 18, 2011
University of Toledo College of Law
Sponsored by the University of Toledo Law Review
Ohio has more than 50,000 inmates confined in more than thirty penal institutions. The average cost per inmate year is more than $25,000. Even in robust economic times asking whether the budgetary impact is bearable would be worthwhile. In times of economic distress and unprecedented scarcity of fiscal resources, it is imperative to ask whether Ohio’s taxpayers can continue indefinitely to bear the costs and consequences of incarceration of so many inmates—especially those who have committed non-violent offenses and are demonstrably low-risk. The 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium will address this and related questions, including what alternatives may exist to provide safety to Ohio’s citizens while making more resources available for other crucial public needs.
The program will consist of four inter-related segments. It will begin with an overview of how and why we are where we are in terms of sentencing and incarceration. The second segment, with speakers familiar with trying to manage the fiscal consequences at the state, county and municipal level, will examine the direct and indirect budgetary impact of the financial costs of keeping more than 50,000 persons in prison year in and year out.
The third segment will examine options for reform. Are there feasible and fiscally responsible alternatives that we can implement while keeping our communities safe? What have other states and governmental entities tried, and how well have they worked. What other options might work, and how well, and at what reduction in costs? This panel will include the Council of State Governments presenting their recommendations based on their recent thorough review of the sources of Ohio’s prison overcrowding. It will also include perspectives from civil-rights advocates, prosecutors, and crime-victims groups.
The final segment will include state legislators directly involved in making the decisions that will seek to respond to the fiscal and other consequences of imprisoning so many, often for lengthy periods. What lies ahead in the General Assembly? What is politically possible and what must become politically possible in light of current and anticipated budgetary constraints. In sum, the 2011 Toledo Law Review Symposium will seek to address–and answer–some fundamentally crucial questions: What have Ohioans gained from our State’s past and current sentencing policies and practices; what are we losing? Most importantly, can we gain as much, or more, in terms of community safety, while spending less, and, if so, how can we do so?
This day-long symposium will be held at the University of Toledo College of Law and should be of particular interest to legislators and other elected and public officials at all levels of government. Continuing Legal Education credits for Ohio Bar members will also be requested.
|8:15 – 8:45 a.m||REGISTRATION|
|8:45 – 8:50 a.m.|| OPENING REMARKS
|8:50 – 9 a.m.||INTRODUCTION TO THE ISSUE
Hon. James G. Carr, Senior Judge, Northern District of Ohio
|9 – 10:15 a.m.||PANEL 1: OVERVIEW: WHERE WE ARE & HOW WE GOT HERE
Moderator & Panelist: Douglas Berman, Professor of Law,
Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
Panelists: Margaret Colgate Love, Attorney & Former Director, ABA Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions
Cecelia Klingele, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, University of Wisconsin
Jelani Jefferson Exum, Visiting Associate Professor of Law, University of Michigan
|10:15 – 10:30 a.m.||BREAK|
|10:30 a.m. – Noon||PANEL 2: FISCAL CONSEQUENCES
Moderator: Michael Beazley, City Administrator, Oregon, Ohio
Panelists: Hon. Ted Barrows, Municipal Court Judge, Franklin County, Ohio
John Leutz, Senior Policy Analyst & Attorney, County Commissioners’ Association of Ohio
Kent Markus, General Counsel to former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland
Dennis Murray, Representative, Ohio State Legislature
Gregory Trout, Chief Counsel, Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation & Corrections
|Noon – 12:30 p.m.|| KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Marc A. Levin, Director,
Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
|12:30 – 1:30 p.m.||LUNCH|
|1:30 – 3 p.m.||PANEL 3: ALTERNATIVES FOR CHANGE
Moderator: Stephen JohnsonGrove, Staff Attorney, Ohio Justice & Policy Center
Panelists: Marshall Clement, Project Director, Justice Center,
Council of State Governments
John Murphy, Executive Director, Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association
James Hardiman, Legal Director, American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio
Mellissia Fuhrmann, Legal Clinic Director, The Justice League of Ohio
|3 – 4 p.m.|| PANEL 4: LEGISLATIVE CONSEQUENCES—WHAT LIES AHEAD
Moderator: Hon. James G. Carr, Senior Judge, Northern District of Ohio
Panelists: William Batchelder, Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives
Tim Grendell, Senator, Chair of Senate Judiciary Committee, Ohio State Legislature
Bill Seitz, Senator, Ohio State Legislature
The program will be held at The University of Toledo College of Law Auditorium. Directions and lodging information.
Fees and Registration
$75 for 5.25 Hours of CLE
(application pending with the Supreme Court of Ohio)
Students may attend the symposium free of charge
Lunch available (limited seating; advance registration required)
Register by Thursday, February 10, 2011. Mail or fax this form, or call 419.530.2962.