Maybe you volunteered with the Issue 1 campaign. Maybe you collected signatures or canvassed your neighborhood or proudly displayed a yard sign. Maybe you voted “yes.”

We’re incredibly thankful for all of it. And it wasn’t for nothing.

Ohio is energized about criminal justice reform at this moment. We’re talking about sentencing reform, drug policy, bail reform and prison conditions. We’re talking about preventative measures, like drug treatment and trauma recovery. And we’re talking about reentry and the collateral consequences that follow someone after they’ve served their time in prison.

Many people are exploring, for the first time, all of the ways that Ohio can fix its broken criminal justice system. And we’re so excited to keep this conversation going, resulting in transformative change.

Despite the outcome of this election, Ohio will still see new criminal justice reform this year as a result of work by the Ohio Justice & Policy Center and other advocacy groups across the state.

At the end of October, new guidelines for criminal record sealing went into effect. For years, OJPC has pushed for reform that would open up record sealing to people with multiple convictions. Read more about this reform (SB 66) here.

Also in October, survivors of human trafficking were granted more opportunities for second chances through Safe Harbor expungement. OJPC has been a leading force in the fight to advocate for survivors of trafficking. Read more about this reform (SB 4) here.

These two wins will greatly impact people with criminal convictions in Ohio. OJPC’s hope for further criminal justice reform is far from lost — we know we can make meaningful change, because we’ve done it time and time again.

Want to join the fight? Consider volunteering with OJPC. If you have a specific interest in policy reform, contact our Deputy Director for Policy Stephen JohnsonGrove.