Chief Justice Launches Task Force On Bail In Ohio

A gavel sculpture in a reflecting pool at the Ohio Supreme Court headquarters
The Ohio Judicial Center in downtown Columbus, headquarters of the state supreme court. [Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock]
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Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has assembled a task force to examine how judges set bail for people charged with crimes. The group had its first meeting Wednesday.

O’Connor is asking the task force to look at how bail is set in other states and to talk about possible changes to Ohio’s rules.

One possibility, according to the guidelines set out for the group: requiring courts to use a “risk assessment” to gauge whether defendants will come back for court dates. The task force has also been asked to reexamine the use of bond schedules, which set dollar amounts for bail based on the type of charge a person faces.

This statewide group includes members from the municipal courts in Cleveland and Rocky River, as well as from Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.

There are meetings expected in February and March. The task force will give the chief justice a report on the state bail system by April of this year. 

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