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Panel Recommends Ohio Move To More Risk-Based Bail System


A state panel is recommending changes to Ohio court practices that often keep defendants in jail because they can't afford bail. 

Chief among the recommendations is finding a risk-based bail system that bases bail not on a person’s ability to pay, but rather on the likelihood of them committing new crimes or not showing up to court.

The special committee from the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission plans to brief the entire commission on Thursday.

Other recommendations for changes include mandating data collection on bail effectiveness, finding pretrial options besides simply freeing or releasing a person who’s been charged, and mandating defendants have public defenders at their initial court appearance.

The commission calls that "a hallmark of an effective pretrial system."