Truth In Sentencing:

The Concept

September 18, 1995

Truth, Justice and the American Way ... Crime victims will soon have a meaningful answer when they ask, "But how much time will he really serve?"

On August 10, 1995, Governor George V. Voinovich signed into law the most far-reaching changes to Ohio's Criminal Code in over two decades. Senate Bill 2 (SB2) is a massive piece of legislation which revises all of Ohio's felony sentencing provisions. It provides for "truth in sentencing", offers greater protection for victims of crime, broadens discretion for trial judges in sentencing, limits appellate review of sentencing, and abolishes traditional "good time".

SB 2 is the first legislative product of the Ohio Sentencing Commission, a blue-ribbon committee of judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officials and defense attorneys, which has been meeting since February, 1991, to revamp sentencing procedures in Ohio. While other states have hastily drafted "three strike" statutes, the Ohio Sentencing Commission has carefully examined Ohio law and developed a plan that is tougher on repeat and violent offenders and yet is designed to reduce prison population growth by 10%.

A key part of the new law has been labeled "truth in sentencing", which eliminates time off for good behavior. Presently, it is common for a prisoner to have his minimum sentence reduced by up to one-third for "good time". Under SB 2, the time served in prison will generally be the term imposed by the judge in open court in front of the defendant, prosecutor, victim, witnesses, media and public. See chart below.

SB 2 takes effect July 1, 1996. In future issues, the particulars of this legislation will be developed so that law enforcement officials and concerned community leaders are equipped to handle the changes that lie ahead.

Current Degree of Felony Current Statutory Sentence Reduced By Good Time & Days Credit SB2: Actual Prison Terms
Agg F1 (w/prior) 10,11,12,13,14 or 15 to 25 years 6.8 to 10 years {F1} 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10 years
Agg F1 5,6,7,8,9 or 10 to 25 years 3.7 to 6.8 years {F1} 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10 years
F1 4,5,6 or 7 to 25 years 2.8 to 4.8 years {F1} 3,4,5,6,7,8,9 or 10 years
Agg F2 (w/prior) 8,9,10,11 or 12 to 15 years 5.7 to 8 years {F2} 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 years
Agg F2 3,4,5,6,7 or 8 to 15 years 2 to 5.7 years {F2} 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 years
F2 2,3,4 or 5 to 15 years 1.7 to 3.7 years {F2} 2,3,4,5,6,7 or 8 years
Agg F3 (w/prior) 5,6,7 or 8 to 10 years 3.7 to 5.7 years {F3} 1,2,3,4 or 5 years
Agg F3 2,3,4 or 5 to 10 years 1.7 to 3.7 years {F3} 1,2,3,4 or 5 years
F3 2,2.5,3 or 4 to 10 years 1.7 to 2.8 years {F3} 1,2,3,4 or 5 years
Non-Violent F3 12,18 or 24 months 8,12 or 16 months {F4} 6 to 18 months
F4 1.5,2,2.5 or 3 to 5 years 1 to 2 years {F4} 6 to 18 months
Non-Violent F4 6,12 or 18 months 4 to 12 months {F5} 6 to 12 months

Sentencing Comparisons

Return To Crime & Punishment Home Page
Go To Crime & Punishment Selected Articles Index
Go To Next Article
© 1996 Enforcer Graphics