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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

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License suspension reform spreads to Ohio

by Alison Walsh, June 15, 2016

In Ohio this week, Governor John Kasich signed a bill into law that allows judges to choose whether to suspend driver’s licenses for non-driving related drug offenses. Prior to this reform, these suspensions were mandatory.

The bill’s sponsor, Senator Bill Seitz, argued that the suspension policy created an unnecessary barrier to employment. The governor of Massachusetts cited similar concerns when he ended automatic license suspensions for drug offenses unrelated to road safety in March.

Several states, including Texas and New York, still enforce this outdated law, but momentum is on the side of reform. In Seitz’s words, “We’re not doing anything radical — we’re kind of catching up to the crowd.” Which state will be next?

Stay tuned for a Prison Policy Initiative report on the remaining states that have yet to repeal this regressive law.

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