181.24 Comprehensive criminal sentencing structure.

(A) No later than July 1, 1993, the state criminal sentencing commission shall recommend to the general assembly a comprehensive criminal sentencing structure for the state that is consistent with the sentencing policy developed pursuant to division (B) of section 181.23 of the Revised Code and the conclusions of the study conducted pursuant to division (A) of that section. The sentencing structure shall be designed to enhance public safety, to assist in the management of prison overcrowding and correctional resources, to simplify the sentencing structure of the state that is in existence on August 22, 1990, and to result in a new sentencing structure that is readily understandable by the citizens of the state, to simplify the criminal code of the state, to assure proportionality, uniformity, and other fairness in criminal sentencing, and to provide increased certainty in criminal sentencing.

(B) The comprehensive criminal sentencing structure recommended by the commission shall provide for all of the following:

(1) Proportionate sentences, with increased penalties for offenses based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history of the offender;

(2) Procedures for ensuring that the penalty imposed for a criminal offense upon similar offenders is uniform in all jurisdictions in the state;

(3) Retention of reasonable judicial discretion within established limits that are consistent with the goals of the overall criminal sentencing structure;

(4) Procedures for matching criminal penalties with the available correctional facilities, programs, and services;

(5) A structure and procedures that control the use and duration of a full range of sentencing options that is consistent with public safety, including, but not limited to, long terms of imprisonment, probation, fines, and other sanctions that do not involve incarceration;

(6) Appropriate reasons for judicial discretion in departing from the general sentencing structure.

(C) The commission shall project the impact of all aspects of the comprehensive criminal sentencing structure upon the capacities of existing correctional facilities. It also shall project the effect of parole release patterns and patterns of release from regional and local jails, workhouses, and other correctional facilities upon the sentencing structure. Additionally, the commission shall determine whether any additional correctional facilities are necessary to implement the sentencing structure.

(D) The commission shall determine whether any special appellate procedures are necessary for reviewing departures from, or the misapplication of, the general sentencing structure recommended pursuant to this section.

(E) The commission shall submit a draft version of the comprehensive criminal sentencing structure to selected judges, prosecuting attorneys, defense attorneys, law enforcement officials, correctional officials, bar associations, and other persons with experience or expertise in criminal sentencing and solicit their comments on the draft.

Effective Date: 03-23-2000

Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.39, SB 171, §4