The complex, intricate process of felony sentencing in Ohio makes ensuring clear, comprehendible sentences of the utmost import for the administration of justice and promoting confidence in the system. As such, for more than a year, the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission worked with justice system partners to develop a package of uniform felony sentencing documents that prescribe the most clear and concise, minimum language required to comply with Criminal Rule 32 and existing case law and establishes standardized, common data essential for identifying relationships and trends common to all felony courts.
The adoption of the package of felony sentencing documents is the first step to begin standardized, aggregate felony sentencing data collection in Ohio—the Ohio Sentencing Data Platform.
Sentencing data provide opportunities for robust research, including the ability to parse comparative data between counties, recognizing that community standards can drive law enforcement, prosecution, and sentencing decision-making.
The Ohio Sentencing Data Platform will improve information about the people we are trying to help in the criminal justice system and has been met with enthusiastic interest and support from judges and courts throughout the state. Our modest, incremental path will ultimately yield high dividends in building public trust in criminal justice processes and outcomes. At the same time, without fiscal or administrative burden, it will help give judges and decision- makers access to the best information available to perform their public service duty in the most impactful way.