Lawmakers Considering Prison Alternative Bill

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio Senate lawmakers are considering a bill aimed at saving money and the amount of time some inmates spend in jail before sentencing.

The bill makes the preparation of a presentence report optional if both the prosecution and defense agree.

Co-sponsor Greta Johnson, an Akron Democrat, says preparing a report can cost up to $800 and take three to six weeks, during which time an offender is often still in jail.

The bill eliminates that requirement when an offender will be sentenced to some type of probation rather than prison time, though a judge can still order it.

The Senate Criminal Justice Committee scheduled a hearing on the legislation Wednesday.

The Ohio Supreme Court has called presentence investigations in felony cases not involving prison “excessive and unwarranted.”