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The Legislative Service Commission staff updates the Revised Code on an ongoing basis, as it completes its act review of enacted legislation. Updates may be slower during some times of the year, depending on the volume of enacted legislation.

Chapter 181 | Criminal Sentencing Commission; Criminal Justice Services

 
 
 
Section
Section 181.21 | State criminal sentencing commission - juvenile committee.
 

(A) There is hereby created within the supreme court the state criminal sentencing commission, consisting of thirty-one members. One member shall be the chief justice of the supreme court, who shall be the chairperson of the commission. The following ten members of the commission, no more than six of whom shall be members of the same political party, shall be appointed by the chief justice: one judge of a court of appeals, three judges of courts of common pleas who are not juvenile court judges, three judges of juvenile courts, and three judges of municipal courts or county courts. Four members shall be the superintendent of the state highway patrol, the state public defender, the director of youth services, and the director of rehabilitation and correction, or their individual designees. The following twelve members, no more than seven of whom shall be members of the same political party, shall be appointed by the governor after consulting with the appropriate state associations, if any, that are represented by these members: one sheriff; two county prosecuting attorneys, at least one of whom shall be experienced in the prosecution of cases in juvenile court involving alleged delinquent children, unruly children, and juvenile traffic offenders; two peace officers of a municipal corporation or township, at least one of whom shall be experienced in the investigation of cases involving juveniles; one former victim of a violation of Title XXIX of the Revised Code; one attorney whose practice of law primarily involves the representation of criminal defendants; one member of the Ohio state bar association; one attorney whose practice of law primarily involves the representation in juvenile court of alleged delinquent children, unruly children, and juvenile traffic offenders; one full-time city prosecuting attorney; one county commissioner; and one mayor, city manager, or member of a legislative authority of a municipal corporation. Two members shall be members of the senate, one appointed by the president of the senate and one appointed by the minority leader of the senate. Two members shall be members of the house of representatives, one appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and one appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives.

The chief justice shall become a member of the commission on August 22, 1990, and the chief justice's successors in office shall become members of the commission on the day that they assume the office of chief justice. The term of office of the chief justice as a member of the commission shall continue for as long as that person holds the office of chief justice. The term of office of the member who is an attorney whose practice of law primarily involves the representation of criminal defendants, the term of office of the member who is an attorney whose practice of law primarily involves the representation in juvenile court of alleged delinquent children, unruly children, and juvenile traffic offenders, and the term of office of the former victim of a violation of Title XXIX of the Revised Code shall be four years. The term of office of the superintendent of the state highway patrol, the state public defender, the director of youth services, and the director of rehabilitation and correction, or their individual designees, as members of the commission shall continue for as long as they hold the office of superintendent of the state highway patrol, state public defender, director of youth services, or director of rehabilitation and correction. The term of office of a municipal corporation or township peace officer as a member of the commission shall be the lesser of four years or until that person ceases to be a peace officer of a municipal corporation or township. Unless the full-time city prosecuting attorney is an elected official, the term of office of the full-time city prosecuting attorney shall be the lesser of four years or until the full-time city prosecuting attorney ceases to be a full-time city prosecuting attorney. All of the members of the commission who are elected officials shall serve the lesser of four years or until the expiration of their term of office. Any vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

When the chief justice and governor make their appointments to the commission, they shall consider adequate representation by race and gender.

(B) The commission shall select a vice-chairperson and any other necessary officers and adopt rules to govern its proceedings. The commission shall meet as necessary at the call of the chairperson or on the written request of eight or more of its members. Sixteen members of the commission constitute a quorum, and the votes of a majority of the quorum present shall be required to validate any action of the commission. All business of the commission shall be conducted in public meetings.

The members of the commission shall serve without compensation, but each member shall be reimbursed for the member's actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of the member's official duties on the commission. In the absence of the chairperson, the vice-chairperson shall perform the duties of the chairperson.

(C) The commission shall establish an office and shall appoint and fix the compensation of a project director and any other employees necessary to assist the commission in the execution of its authority under sections 181.21 to 181.25 of the Revised Code. The project director shall have a thorough understanding of the criminal laws of this state and experience in committee-oriented research. The other employees may include a research coordinator with experience and training in policy-oriented research; professional staff employees with backgrounds in criminal law, criminal justice, political science, or related fields of expertise; administrative assistants; and secretaries. The commission also may appoint and fix the compensation of part-time data collectors, clerical employees, and other temporary employees as needed to enable the commission to execute its authority under sections 181.21 to 181.25 of the Revised Code.

Section 181.23 | Studies to recommend comprehensive criminal sentencing structure.
 

(A) The state criminal sentencing commission shall study the existing criminal statutes and law of this state, sentencing patterns throughout the state, and available correctional resources. The commission shall use the results of its study to develop and recommend to the general assembly a comprehensive criminal sentencing structure. As part of its study, the commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Evaluate the effectiveness of the sentencing structure of the state;

(2) Systematically review each criminal statute to determine if the penalty provided is proportional to the seriousness of the offense committed and to penalties provided for other offenses;

(3) Review any existing sentencing guidelines;

(4) Determine the number, capacity, and quality of all available state, regional, and local correctional facilities and resources, including, but not limited to, detention facilities, probation services, pretrial diversion programs, and other nonfacility correctional programs;

(5) Collect a profile of the populations of state, regional, and local correctional facilities, services, and programs;

(6) Coordinate available correctional facilities, services, and programs with the criminal sentencing goals of the state, including, but not limited to, punishment, deterrence, fairness, rehabilitation, and treatment;

(7) Identify any additional correctional resources that are necessary to balance the needs of criminal sentencing and the available correctional resources.

(B) The commission shall develop a sentencing policy for the state that is based upon the findings and conclusions of its study under division (A) of this section. The policy shall be designed to enhance public safety by achieving certainty in sentencing, deterrence, and a reasonable use of correctional facilities, programs, and services and shall be designed to achieve fairness in sentencing.

Section 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.

Section 181.25 | Commission duties - comprehensive criminal sentencing structure.
 

(A) If the comprehensive criminal sentencing structure that it recommends to the general assembly pursuant to section 181.24 of the Revised Code or any aspects of that sentencing structure are enacted into law, the state criminal sentencing commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Assist the general assembly in the implementation of those aspects of the sentencing structure that are enacted into law;

(2) Monitor the operation of the aspects of the sentencing structure that are enacted into law and report to the general assembly no later than January 1, 1997, and biennially thereafter, on all of the following matters:

(a) The impact of the sentencing structure in effect on and after July 1, 1996, on political subdivisions and other relevant aspects of local government in this state, including all of the following information:

(i) The number and type of offenders who were being imprisoned in a state correctional institution under the law in effect prior to July 1, 1996, but who are being punished under a community control sanction, as defined in section 2929.01 of the Revised Code, under the law in effect on and after July 1, 1996;

(ii) The fiscal and other impact of the law in effect on and after July 1, 1996, on political subdivisions and other relevant aspects of local government in this state, including law enforcement agencies, the court system, prosecutors, as defined in section 2935.01 of the Revised Code, the public defender and assigned counsel system, jails and workhouses, probation departments, the drug and alcohol abuse intervention and treatment system, and the mental health intervention and treatment system.

(b) The impact of the sentencing structure in effect on and after July 1, 1996, on the population of state correctional institutions, including information regarding the number and types of offenders who are being imprisoned under the law in effect on and after July 1, 1996, and the amount of space in state correctional institutions that is necessary to house those offenders;

(c) The impact of the sentencing structure and the sentence appeal provisions in effect on and after July 1, 1996, on the appellate courts of this state, including information regarding the number of sentence-based appeals, the cost of reviewing appeals of that nature, whether a special court should be created to review sentences, and whether changes should be made to ensure that sentence-based appeals are conducted expeditiously.

(3) Review all bills that are introduced in the general assembly that provide for new criminal offenses or that change the penalty for any criminal offense, determine if those bills are consistent with the sentencing policy adopted under division (B) of section 181.23 of the Revised Code, determine the impact of those bills upon the correctional resources of the state, and recommend to the general assembly any necessary amendments to those bills. When the commission recommends any amendment for a bill before the general assembly, it shall do so in a manner that is consistent with the requirements of section 181.24 of the Revised Code.

(4) Study criminal sentencing structures in this state, other states, and the federal government, recommend necessary changes to the sentencing structure of the state, and determine the costs and effects of any proposed changes in the sentencing structure of the state;

(5) Collect and maintain data that pertains to the cost to counties of the felony sentence appeal provisions set forth in section 2953.08 of the Revised Code, of the postconviction relief proceeding provisions set forth in division (A)(2) of section 2953.21 of the Revised Code, and of appeals from judgments entered in such postconviction relief proceedings. The data so collected and maintained shall include, but shall not be limited to, the increase in expenses that counties experience as a result of those provisions and those appeals and the number of felony sentence appeals made, postconviction relief proceedings filed, and appeals of postconviction relief proceeding judgments made in each county under those provisions.

(B) In addition to its duties set forth in section 181.24 of the Revised Code and division (A) of this section, the state criminal sentencing commission shall review all forfeiture statutes in Titles XXIX and XLV of the Revised Code and, not later than July 1, 2002, recommend to the general assembly any necessary changes to those statutes.

Section 181.27 | Commission designated a criminal justice agency.
 

(A) In addition to its duties set forth in sections 181.23 to 181.26 of the Revised Code, the state criminal sentencing commission is hereby designated a criminal justice agency, as defined in section 109.571 of the Revised Code, and as such is authorized by this state to apply for access to the computerized databases administered by the national crime information center or the law enforcement automated data system in Ohio, and to other computerized databases administered for the purpose of making criminal justice information accessible to state criminal justice agencies.

(B) In addition to its duties set forth in sections 181.23 to 181.26 of the Revised Code, the state criminal sentencing commission shall do all of the following:

(1) Within ninety days after the effective date of this section, pursuant to section 181.23 of the Revised Code, commence a study of the impact of sections relevant to the act in which this section is enacted, including but not limited to, changes to sections 109.11, 2929.15, 2951.041, 2953.31, 2953.32, 5119.93, and 5119.94 of the Revised Code, and continue studying that impact on an ongoing basis.

(2) Not later than December 31, 2021, and biennially thereafter, submit to the general assembly and the governor its findings regarding the study described in division (B)(1) of this section, in a report that contains the results of the study and recommendations.