Resolved that the 136th Convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio supports criminal justice reform that incorporates the following principles, based on our core belief that people can be redeemed:
- Excessively punishing criminal offenders harms communities. While a prime goal of the criminal justice system is to restore communities and heal victims, more needs to be done to rehabilitate offenders to become contributing members of society.
- While the criminal justice system proclaims equal and impartial judgment and treatment for all, it is well documented that our criminal justice system falls hardest and disproportionately on poor communities of color.
- Our government must be responsible with scarce, public resources in the current fiscal crisis.
And be it further
Resolved, that this convention will support:
- Reforms that promote rehabilitative criminal sentencing and fairness;
- Sentencing that reduces excessive punishments that do not benefit the victim, the community, nor the offender;
- Programs that incorporate new and improved ways for former offenders to reintegrate productively into society; and
- Reduction of criminal-justice spending while improving community safety and wholeness;
and be it further
Resolved, that this convention refer this Resolution to the Social Justice and Public Policy Network Committee to advise the Diocesan Council – as the convention between convention – and the bishops on proposed legislation.