Until restrictions are placed on the use of financial bonds, the bail bond industry will remain all too comfortable, writes Caitlin Hill of ACLU Ohio.
Hyperbole abounds around bail reform. While certain legislators, advocacy organizations, and data analysts maintain an enthusiastic belief that the use of risk assessments and the redefining of bail to include nonfinancial conditions will solve many of the problems, the bail bond industry — out of desperation and fear that change will hurt its profit margins — claims that bail reform is too costly and risky.
In truth, there is no credible evidence that bail bond agents are better at monitoring the accused than pretrial services or that bail reform costs more than the current practice of jailing people who can’t pay — in fact studies show the opposite. Moreover, judges have always been able to set nonfinancial conditions to bail. The problem is that judges often don’t, opting instead for money bonds that bear no relationship to a person’s risk level or their ability to pay. What money bonds successfully do is line the pockets of bail bond agents while keeping the very poor incarcerated without conviction. Given their financial motives, it is no wonder that bail bond agents want to stop reforms.
But why all the worry? As written, Ohio’s current bail legislation does little to limit the use of money in bail decisions. Legislators can redefine bail all they want. But until they place restrictions on the use of financial bonds, the bail bond industry will remain all too comfortable.
Policy Council for ACLU Ohio
Gibsonburg school levy is critical
I am writing this letter to alert readers to the consequences of allowing the present school levy to lapse. This will happen if the proposed levy on the ballot is not passed. We not only lose the present levy that was voted in many years ago but we will also lose the additional quarter percent that is part of the new levy request on the ballot. I know it seems strange that the present levy cannot appear on the ballot with an additional 1/4 of a percent levy, but that is the way it is. You can only have one earned income levy on the ballot at a time.
The result of the issue not passing means the present earned income levy which is presently 3/4 percent would end as it is not on the ballot for renewal. Thus the district would lose that levy money. The total increase in the levy proposal will amount to giving up one Mcgriddle meal per payday at McDonald’s for the average wage earner living in the Gibsonburg School District.
You may be thinking that the pipeline going through this spring is going to give the schools a lot of money. It will not provide an ongoing stream of money. This appears to provide a large sum of money but it will be a one-time thing and will not cover the money we have lost from the state budget in the past few years.
Gibsonburg has taken some serious hits from the Ohio Legislature in the past few years when it comes to funding from the state. They have reduced staff and made reductions in overall spending to stay within their means. However, with the last state budget, Gibsonburg finds itself with additional loss of revenue. In order to continue to provide quality education, we must replace some of the funding lost from the state. This is why we need the 1/4 percent added to the 3/4 of 1 percent earned income levy.
I have lived all my life in the Gibsonburg School District and my children also live in the district with their families. I have worked for many years in the district in many capacities including serving as Superintendent. Gibsonburg has always been in the forefront of providing a solid education for its children. Gibsonburg was one of the first to offer All Day Every Day Kindergarten and then added Pre-School. These two steps have given our children the skills to take advantage of the opportunities that await them in their high school years with early college and advanced classes.
I urge you to make sure you get to the polls and encourage your friends also to get out and vote YES to keep what we have in place for the kids coming up in the future.
So, let’s make sure we all follow the campaign logo of “A Call to Action” and make sure that “WE ARE ALL IN” when it comes time to vote for the school district on Tuesday, May 8.
Editor’s note: Mr. Freeborn is the former superintendent of Gibsonburg Schools.
City seal in need of an update
Seeing the seal of the City of Toledo in an article in The Blade recently was quite a shock (April 12, “Mayor’s hopes sky high”). It looked so old and childish, I couldn’t help think it must be a shock to people who see it on a letterhead or elsewhere through the city.
I have always worked and shopped in Toledo and, when I was growing up in Ohio, I always had a vision of Toledo as a great city. I would have thought the seal would have been updated years ago, with perhaps an image of the beautiful Veterans Skyway Bridge.
It may seem a small thing to some, but sometimes the seal is the first, and perhaps only, impression some people have of the city. Perhaps Mayor Kapszukiewicz could cooperate with the University of Toledo or Toledo Public Schools to have a student contest to design a new seal.
Lives depend on recovery
We know that addiction is harming people, their loved ones, and our community, and we know that recovery housing works.
Thank you to Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz for supporting Unison Health’s efforts to help solve the problem. Unison Health’s Recovery House, located in UpTown, will begin caring for individuals early this summer.
I encourage Toledo city leaders to continue to work together to develop a comprehensive strategy that will address people’s access to needed recovery services throughout our community.
People’s lives are depending on it.
JEFFREY DE LAY
Editor’s note: Mr. De Lay is the president and CEO of Unison Health.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.