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Columbus City Attorney Moves To Limit Cash Bail

Franklin County Courthouse
Adora Namigadde
/
WOSU
Zach Klein says the move is meant to prioritize jail space, save taxpayer money, and reduce the amount of time people spend in jail awaiting trial for non-violent misdemeanors.

Columbus Attorney Zach Klein is instructing city prosecutors to stop requesting cash bonds for most people charged with non-violent misdemeanors and instead release them on their own recognizance.A Wednesday release from Klein’s office says that city prosecutors will request recognizance bonds for most non-violent offenders appearing in arraignment court, effective immediately and absent unique circumstances.

Klein says it’s meant to prioritize jail space, save taxpayer money and reduce the amount of time people spend in jail awaiting trial for non-violent misdemeanors.

“Since becoming City Attorney, I have challenged myself and my team to find ways to modernize our processes and procedures in our effort to make the criminal justice system more efficient, equitable and fair,” Klein said in an emailed statement. “This bail reform initiative is one of several new policies we have spent a great deal of time analyzing and developing, and I’m excited to begin implementing more of our reforms soon.”

Offenses that will not be eligible for recognizance bonds include domestic violence, assault, stalking, violations of protection orders, child endangering, public indecency, sexual imposition, and unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.