Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission FAQs

What is the Sentencing Commission?

Who is on the Commission?

What is the Criminal Sentencing Advisory Committee?

What Has the Commission Done?

What Research Does the Commission Do?

When and Where Do the Commission and Advisory Committee Meet?

Where Can I Get More Information?


What is the Sentencing Commission?

The General Assembly created the Sentencing Commission in Ohio Revised Code §§181.21 through 181.26 to:

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Who is on the Commission?

The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court chairs the 31 member Commission. The Chief Justice appoints 10 members: one appellate judge; three municipal or county judges; three juvenile court judges; and three other common pleas judges. The Governor appoints 12 members: a county, juvenile, and municipal prosecutor; two defense attorneys; a Bar Association representative; a sheriff; two police chiefs; a crime victim; a county commissioner; and a mayor. Four members of the General Assembly serve on the Commission, one from each caucus. The law also names the State Public Defender, Director of Rehabilitation and Correction, Director of Youth Services, and Superintendent of the Highway Patrol to the Commission.

Members are not paid for their participation, but are reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses.

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What is the Criminal Sentencing Advisory Committee?

The Criminal Sentencing Advisory Committee assists the Commission. By law, it includes the Parole Board Chair, the Director of the Correctional Institutions Inspection Committee, a community corrections representative appointed by the Governor, a juvenile detention home operator, a juvenile probation services provider, the superintendent of a DYS institution, a community-based juvenile services provider, a member of a youth advocacy organization, and a victim of juvenile crime. Other members include representatives from academia, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and the County Commissioners', Halfway House, Chief Probation Officers', and Victim-Witness associations.

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What Has the Commission Done?

The Commission began meeting in 1991. It has issued a series of reports that served as the basis for several large sentencing bills in recent years.

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What Research Does the Commission Do?

The staff's research includes studies of: felons in prison and on community control; the use of sentencing options and “what works” in these sanctions; judicial attitudes on how crimes should be ranked; the collection and distribution of criminal costs and fines; the prevalence and practice of mayor's courts; jail populations; and racial disparity in sentencing. The Commission cataloged over 1,500 classified and unclassified offenses and researched duplicate and obsolete provisions. The Commission projects the impact of its proposals on prisons, jails, and other sanctions and estimates the comparative costs of all sanctions. When the General Assembly enacts any Commission proposal, the staff monitors and reports on the impact of the changes.

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When and Where Do the Commission and Advisory Committee Meet?

The Commission and Advisory Committee typically meet monthly (usually on the third Thursday) at the Supreme Court in Columbus. The Commission also holds numerous committee meetings each year, typically in Columbus. Meetings are open and detailed minutes are available.

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Where Can I Get More Information?

If you would like a roster, minutes, reports, or other information, please call the number on the first page or visit the Criminal Sentencing Commission Web pages.

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