LEAP Endorses Ohio's Issue 1

For Immediate Release: 10.30.18
Contact: Mikayla Hellwich

Police, Prosecutors Say Law Could Reduce Overdoses, Crime, Prison Costs

Today, the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) would like to announce our endorsement of Ohio's Issue 1, a ballot measure that would reclassify many drug crimes from felonies to misdemeanors and divert cost savings into drug treatment, rehabilitation, probation services, and victim support programs. The law is designed to reduce the number of people in state jails and prisons for low-level drug offenses and non-criminal probation violations.

"The justice system can't function as intended and keep people safe when such a high volume of drug cases overwhelms the dockets. I think anyone working in courtrooms or corrections facilities would agree that we need to focus our energy on the most serious crimes. People who use drugs – and many who sell them – need treatment, so pushing them through the system isn't getting at the root of their drug use or making it any easier for the system to take legitimately dangerous perpetrators off the streets. " - U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart (Fmr.), LEAP speaker and former prosecutor from the Southern District of Ohio

"Ohio is long overdue to begin working our way out of the opioid crisis," said Lt. Carlis McDerment (Fmr.), an Ohio LEAP speaker and former police officer from Blacklick. "If we wait around for this problem to solve itself and continue to ignore policy advice from public health experts, more people are going to die."

"Ohio doesn't have to be the guinea pig here. Other states that have amended their drug sentencing laws and reinvested in treatment have successfully mitigated some of the fiscal and human costs of the opioid crisis. If voters approve Issue 1, Ohio will be setting an example for smarter drug policies nationwide." - Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), a 34-year police veteran and executive director for LEAP

The Law Enforcement Action Partnership is a nonprofit group of police, judges, prosecutors, corrections officials, and other criminal justice professionals who use their expertise to advance public safety solutions. LEAP joined the coalition to pass Issue 1 because America’s addiction crisis has drained law enforcement resources, ballooned correction costs, overburdened court dockets, increased petty crimes committed by those seeking drugs, and overwhelmed healthcare workers and emergency first responders responding to overdoses.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill (D) and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R) have both endorsed Issue 1.


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