Ohio Bill Would Shift Courts Away from Requiring Cash Bail

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio lawmakers are considering measures that would decrease the use of cash bail when holding defendants before trial and rely more on assessing offenders’ risk of flight.

Legislation in the House and Senate is similar to proposals in multiple states meant to reduce the incarceration of people too poor to make bail and to save taxpayers’ money.

House Reps. Jonathan Dever and Tim Ginter testified earlier this year that the current bail system rewards those with money, even if they pose a greater threat to society than other offenders who can’t afford bail.

Bail bond companies have lined up to oppose the measure, saying it will put them out of business and shift the cost of finding defendants who leave town onto already strapped police departments.