Savings possible from bill

Published 11:24 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

As the prescription and illegal drug epidemic keeps fueling the rise in crime, the already backlogged court systems in the state are getting even more strained.

Dockets grow with cases of burglaries, shoplifting and petty theft for those addicted to these substances.

If there is any way to reduce any costs in the system, that would be welcomed relief.

Email newsletter signup

Some Ohio lawmakers have proposed a bill that could offer a way to do just that.

Right now the Ohio Senate is considering a bill that would make the preparation of a presentence investigation report optional if both the prosecuting attorney and the defendant and his or her attorney agree.

A presentence investigation report looks into the background of the defendant following his conviction to determine if there is a pattern of criminal activity in the person’s past that would mean he or she should get a maximum sentence. Likewise there may be circumstances that could show a lesser sentence would be appropriate.

Typically a presentence report costs on average $800 and can take up to six weeks to complete. Often during that time the defendant remains in a county jail until sentencing.

Both the report and the jail time are costs to a county.

This bill has already passed the House. If the Senate concurs, that can be a savings, albeit small, but down the road that can add up.