Lawmakers, parole officer representatives meeting to discuss Reagan Tokes Act

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)- Lawmakers will meet with parole officers this week as the Reagan Tokes Act has been officially assigned to the criminal justice committee and is awaiting a hearing.

Brian Golsby was wearing a GPS monitor after his recent release from prison, but we discovered it wasn’t being actively monitored. Lawmakers are now looking for changes in the way violent criminals are watched following their prison sentence. The Reagan Tokes Act is the start of that change.

NBC4 Investigates first told you that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is now getting involved. They represent every parole officer in the state of Ohio. This week parole officers will be meeting with lawmakers with their recommendations. They say their recommendations will allow them to better do their jobs.  State Representative Kristin Boggs said she’s meeting with several officers Thursday.

“I think as a policy maker it’s important to listen to the people who are on the ground doing the work. They know what the day in, day out true story is of the picture of the parole system,” said Boggs.

Boggs has been the driving force behind the Reagan Tokes Act. It’s a bill that SEIU fully supports. Boggs says she’s been speaking with the union and has arranged a meeting.

“I think the parole officers are in a really difficult position, to the extent that they are our only law enforcement, that they actively prevent crime,” said Boggs. “So, how do they prove the work that they’re doing is making our neighborhoods, our streets, our communities safer?”

The union spokesperson says they will discuss the five recommendations they gave legislators in a two page document. Boggs says she realizes these requests will require additional government money.

“We just have to make it a priority. There’s always money to do what the state prioritizes as being important work, and so we need to make keeping our communities safe a priority. We need to put our money where our mouth is,” said Boggs

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