MOUNT VERNON — How much punishment is enough?
Society wrestles with that question, and answers are elusive. Courts impose sentences as punishment, but also to protect the public and deter crime. It’s hoped that guests of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections will successfully re-enter society, and officials are encouraged by a declining recidivism rate among prisoners. Depending on point of view, it’s good that two-thirds of convicts don’t return to prison, or bad that one-in-three does. Either way, one harsh reality for felons is that convictions stay on their records for years, if not for life. Freedom is restored upon release, but not all freedoms. Repercussions of “collateral sanctions” endure.
Felony convictions carry harsher penalties than misdemeanors, and Knox County Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Springer acknowledges that the implications are not lost on prosecuting attorneys.
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