From the Canton Repository…
Kasich on board for reform
Posted Dec 13, 2010
Gov.-elect John Kasich believes too many people are locked away in Ohio’s prisons. He wants the situation to change.
That should come as welcome news to a group of Stark Countians that has been studying this very issue for months and has just made several recommendations for change to local members of the Ohio House and Senate.
Kasich says changing the situation — for example, getting nonviolent offenders into alternative sentencing programs — is among the “low-hanging fruit” that he’ll pick as he tackles the state’s looming budget deficit.
We hope he’s right.
But if it were that easy, legislators would have changed laws and probation rules long before Ohio’s prisons reached 133 percent of their capacity.
Kasich can’t necessarily count police and prosecutors among his allies on this issue. Or his fellow Republicans, for that matter.
A bill sponsored by Sen. Bill Seitz, a Republican from Cincinnati, that would require some of the changes that the Stark County Crime Committee is calling for, has languished in the Senate, which is controlled by Seitz’s own party.
We’ll have to hope that Kasich’s leadership makes a difference. Good luck to the governor and Seitz as they pursue this course.