New Effort Underway to Reduce Ohio Prison Population

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — State leaders and criminal justice experts are launching a new effort to reduce Ohio’s prison population through an examination of crime, courts, probation and incarceration.

A yearlong study will analyze thousands of records to examine how sentences handed down for serious crimes affect prison populations and life after prison.

The Ohio Justice Reinvestment Committee announced the study Thursday, to be conducted by the Council of State Governments Justice Center.

A similar effort was launched in 2011. That initiative had mixed results, in part because of the impact of Ohio’s opioid crisis along with pushback from judges and prosecutors.

The state’s prison population has leveled off in recent years, with about 50,000 inmates currently, down from a record high of 51,273 in November 2008.