Letter: A case for bail reform

Senate Bill 182, described in the May 19 article “McColley, legislators propose bail reform,” is needed to stop Ohioans from unnecessarily suffering.

In 2017, I was suddenly arrested after being indicted for a nonviolent crime and spent eight days in jail before seeing a judge. I spent the first 48 hours in the Allen County Jail. If I had been released at that point, I would have kept my job, wouldn’t have been late on rent, friends wouldn’t have worried about my safety, and my son wouldn’t have gone without his mother for six additional days—and missed his soccer games.

But instead, I spent another three days in Allen County, and was transferred to Ross County for three more days, until I was able to see a judge and make bail. When I got back home after eight days in jail not yet convicted of a crime, I had to start piecing my life back together. I was forced to resign from my job at the hospital where I had worked full-time for eight years. I had missed calls and texts from friends who were concerned because I disappeared. Returning home, I was met by my landlord. He was concerned because the rent was late and he had noticed that my car hadn’t moved. He even went as far as calling the police for a wellness check. I didn’t tell him where I had been because I was too embarrassed and pulled out my retirement money, with a $1,500 penalty, to pay bills over the next few months.

With SB 182, I would have avoided all the hell that came after the 48 hours.

Taylor Pennington



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