Justice: Ohio judges must help shrink prisons

COLUMBUS (AP) — Judges have an important role to play in reducing the number of people behind bars in Ohio, because judges are “part of the problem,” the state’s top judge said Thursday.

Some of the proposals in a 2011 law meant to reduce prison overcrowding have not been as successful as hoped for, requiring more work, Maureen O’Connor, chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, said in a speech.

Any attempt at reducing the number of offenders entering prison is directly tied to sentencing, Justice O’Connor said.

“We as judges must be part of the solution because we are certainly part of the problem,” she said. “We cannot take an attitude of out of sight, out of mind once offenders leave the courtroom.”

Justice O’Connor said she is working with the head of Ohio’s prison system to find ways to lower the number of prisoners.

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