cash bail

Advocates of bail reform protest Cuyahoga County Jail conditions in January 2019.
Nick Castele / Ideastream

Columbus recently moved to stop requesting cash bonds for most people charged with non-violent crimes, instead letting them out of jail as they await trial. It’s the latest in a statewide effort to reform cash bail, which tends to keep poor people behind bars.

Wikimedia Commons

The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected a recommendation that tools used to measure offenders' likelihood of skipping out on court appearances after an arrest be made available to all judges as they make bond decisions.

With the new year come many new state laws across the country. There are the usual suspects — gun laws, marijuana legalization and housing protections — but there are also some new frontiers: groundbreaking laws concerning Internet user privacy and the classification of contract workers in California, for example.

Here are some of the most notable laws taking effect Jan. 1, in no particular order:

Red flag

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor delivered her State of the Judiciary at the Hilton at Easton on September 12, 2019.
LIESL BONNEAU

Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor talked about maintaining public trust in the judiciary, supporting sentencing reform and keeping dockets moving with apps, texting and technology during her State of the Judiciary speech.

Wikimedia Commons

Ohio’s courts would take significant steps away from cash bail under a set of recommendations offered by a state Supreme Court task force.

Franklin County Courthouse
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

Columbus Attorney Zach Klein is instructing city prosecutors to stop requesting cash bonds for most people charged with non-violent misdemeanors and instead release them on their own recognizance.