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Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission

The Criminal Sentencing Commission is an independent entity, legislatively established within the Supreme Court.

Overview

Authorized under Sections 181.21 – 181.25 and 181.27 of the Ohio Revised Code, the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission brings together judges, prosecuting and defense attorneys, behavioral health professionals, academics, corrections officials, law enforcement, victims’ advocates, community corrections experts, and others with a direct interest in criminal sentencing. Because of its broad and diverse membership the Commission is well positioned to bridge the information gap among criminal justice system partners. The Commission routinely seeks bipartisan, meaningful, forward thinking, informed processes and outcomes through creative solutions – beyond simplification and modernizing the Revised Code – the Commission’s work is to enhance justice and ensure fair sentencing in the State of Ohio.

Enabling Legislation

Ohio Revised Code §§181.21 - 181.25 govern the Sentencing Commission. In 1990, the Governor signed legislation creating a 17-member Commission (S.B. 258). The Commission began meeting in February 1991. In 1992, the General Assembly (G.A.) gave the Commission a year to submit felony recommendations (S.B. 273). In 1993, the G.A. placed the Commission within the Supreme Court (H.B. 152). In 1994, the G.A. expanded the Commission to 24 members with an eye toward adding misdemeanor sentencing expertise (H.B. 21). In 1996, the G.A. instructed the Commission to study criminal forfeiture statutes and to specifically monitor the impact of the new felony laws on local government and appellate courts (S.B. 2). In 1996, as part of a reorganization of boards and commissions, the G.A. formally renamed the Commission the "Sentencing Council" (H.B. 670). Effective in 1997, the G.A. expanded the Commission to 31 members and instructed it to study juvenile dispositions (H.B. 591). In 1998, the G.A. gave the Commission until October, 1999 to submit a plan for juvenile sentencing (H.B. 484). Effective in 2000, the G.A. restored "Sentencing Commission" as the group's formal name (S.B. 107).

§181.21
§181.23
§181.24
§181.25

Vision & Mission

Vision: To enhance justice

Mission: To ensure fair sentencing in the state of Ohio

To fulfill its vision, the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission will develop and recommend sentencing policy to the General Assembly that is designed to:

  • Advance public safety
  • Realize fairness in sentencing
  • Preserve meaningful judicial discretion
  • Distinguish the most efficient and effective use of correctional resources
  • Provide a meaningful array of sentencing options

The Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission will achieve its mission by:

  • Analyzing current adult and juvenile criminal statutes and law in Ohio and other states
  • Studying sentencing patterns and outcomes and balancing the needs of criminal sentencing and available correctional resources
  • Researching and recommending evidence based approaches to reducing recidivism
  • Recommending reasonable and specific criminal justice reforms

The Consensus Process

The Commission uses a consensus decision-making process when considering new proposals, advancing recommendations and in conducting its business.

Roster

The full Commission meets quarterly. All meetings are held beginning at 10 a.m.

Working committees meet between full Commission meeting dates.

Date Meeting Location
2024
Thursday, Feb. 15

Full Commission

Ohio Judicial Center
Room 101 & Zoom
Meeting ID: 884 4573 2290
Passcode: 695643
Thursday, May 16 Full Commission Ohio Judicial Center
Law Library Reading Room
Thursday, Sept. 12 Full Commission Ohio Judicial Center
Room 101
Thursday, Nov. 21 Full Commission Ohio Judicial Center
Room 101

Meeting Materials Meeting Minutes

As of July 1st, 2024, the Uniform Sentencing Entry (USE) form is now available on the Supreme Court of Ohio’s website here: Criminal Sentencing Commission Forms » Supreme Court of Ohio.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Sentencing Commission staff at ocsc@sc.ohio.gov or our main office line at (614) 387-9305.

Contact Information

Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 5th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3431

Chairman:
Chief Justice Sharon L. Kennedy,
ex officio

Director: Melissa Knopp, Esq.


PLEASE NOTE: The Sentencing Commission does not have information regarding inmates and/or access to case specific sentencing information. If you have a question about an inmate, please email drc.publicinfo@odrc.state.oh.us or call 614.387.0588 and/or visit the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction website https://drc.ohio.gov.
Please note: Commission staff are not permitted to render legal advice or counsel on any matter.

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