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Safe & Healthy Ballot Initiative: SURJ NEO Canvass Day(s)!


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*~*~* Join us as we collect signatures every other Saturday until June to help get an amazing initiative for criminal justice reform on the ballot In November!!! *~*~*

We believe that safety is:

--> people not prisons
--> treatment not jails
--> living wage jobs
--> caring for our neighbors
--> access to opportunity

Your help in getting this on the ballot is needed!!!

SURJ NEO, in collaboration with OOC, will have everything you need to collect signatures!
* petitions
* clipboards
* awesome t-shirts
* coffee
* community
* support & love

***Safe & Healthy Ballot Initiative***
The Ohio Organizing Collaborative and their coalition partners are working hard to pass a constitutional amendment to reform sentencing, divest from prisons, and invest in communities. More specifically, this ballot initiative would do four things:

1. Reclassify drug possession felonies as misdemeanors, because people struggling with addiction need treatment, not prison. The amendment would reclassify from felony to misdemeanor any crime for obtaining, possessing, or using a drug or drug paraphernalia. All current drug trafficking felonies would remain felonies. The amendment would allow the reclassification to be done retroactively, so people currently in prison for possession-only offenses could be released, and people with past drug-possession felonies could get them reclassified, opening up job opportunities for thousands of Ohioans.

2. Cut-off the probation-to-prison pipeline. Twenty-three percent of the people coming to Ohio’s prisons each year (about 4,700 annually) are being sent to prison for probation violations - not new crimes. Minor violations - such as missing a meeting with a probation officer due to a work commitment - often result in prison time for people who are working to get their lives back on track. The amendment would prohibit prison sentences as punishment for probation rule infractions that are not new crimes.

3. Incentivize personal rehabilitation in prison. Data and personal stories demonstrate that safety and rehabilitation improve when people receive days off of their prison terms for participating in quality programming. The amendment would expand the ability of current inmates to earn these modest sentence reductions.

4. Invest savings in community health. The first three reforms will safely and significantly shrink the prison population. The amendment will then redirect the savings into local treatment and support programs for youths and adults — further improving safety and decreasing our state’s reliance on prisons to solve social ills.