University of Cincinnati works to reduce rate of crime in Ohio

In 2012, The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (DRC) took steps to improve the safety of the state. One key change involved a focus on reducing the rate of recidivism. The state took many steps to meet this goal, including using a program designed by the University of Cincinnati to analyze how the criminal justice system works within the state. The result: Ohio's rate of recidivism is at an all-time low.

This reduction is important since recidivism, or the rate an offender repeats a crime, can cost the state billons. Recidivism includes any type of crime that leads to incarceration, including a variety of campus crimes. In addition to increasing safety, reducing recidivism also saves the state money. It costs over $25,000 a year to incarcerate an inmate in Ohio, according to The Ohio Legislative Service Commission.

In an attempt to better ensure the money used for incarceration is spent wisely, the state commissioned The University of Cincinnati's Center for Criminal Justice Research to develop a program analyzing the various factors that can lead to recidivism.

Use of this program and other changes has led to a reduction in crime. According to Ohio's Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the state's rate of recidivism has dropped to a record low 29 percent.

Details of Ohio's Criminal Justice Research program

Recidivism is calculated based on a three year cycle. Reasons for a return to prison can include technical violations of parole as well as commission of a crime.

Researchers in charge of the program found that releasing those who were accused of "low-level crimes" to their families and allowing them to return to stable jobs was a more effective means to reduce the risk of committing another crime than a longer prison sentence. The researchers also argued money saved from shorter incarceration periods should go towards those at a higher risk of recidivism, allowing the criminal justice system to provide more treatment where needed.

Impact of a criminal conviction in Ohio

It is important to take criminal charges seriously. Criminal penalties associated with a conviction in Ohio are harsh. Even a first time driving under the influence, or DUI, offense that does not involve an accident or injuries can result in the following penalties:

  • Driver's license suspension of six months to two years.
  • Mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment.
  • Vehicle confiscation.
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

In addition to the impact on one's criminal record, a criminal conviction can also cost thousands. A recent report by MSN Money estimated a basic DUI can cost upwards of $10,000. The overall cost took into account the initial ticket, additional fines and increased insurance rates.

As a result, it is important to take these charges seriously. If you are charged with a crime in Ohio, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you build a strong defense and better ensure your legal rights are protected.