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Ohio House Votes 95-2 In Favor Of Sentence Reform

Ohio prisons are now holding about 33 percent more inmates than they were built to house, and tensions are rising. That's why state representatives have just approved a measure to lower the prison population. Three major parts of the bill let current inmates earn more time off their sentences for participating in re-hab. Let them earn five days off for every month they participate in schooling, drug treatment and job-training. Second, give judges the power to free non-violent, well-behaving inmates after they've served 85 percent of their sentence. And third, raise the dollar threshold for felony theft. That way fewer low-level criminals would be sent to state lock-ups. Prosecutors though are skeptical. They say the changes violate Ohio's truth in sentencing principle, that if you're sentenced to say, ten years behind bars, you serve 10 years. Still, the measure has passed the house 95 to 2. Next, the bill moves to the senate. Bill Cohen at the Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau