COLUMBUS – Today, Senator Sean J. O’Brien (D-Bazetta) announced his joint sponsorship with Senator Kevin Bacon (R-Minerva Park) of the “Reagan Tokes Act.” The act, which is named after a slain Ohio State University student, aims to improve the rehabilitation of criminal offenders through the use of indefinite sentences and to reform the current GPS monitoring procedures for recently released offenders.

The act is comprised of two Senate companion bills, which are being introduced today. Companion legislation is being introduced concurrently in the Ohio House, sponsored by Representatives Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) and Jim Hughes (R-Upper Arlington).

“The murder of Reagan Tokes is a tragedy that could have been prevented if we had the proper procedures in place,” Sen. O’Brien said. “As a former assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, I place great importance on ensuring that offenders do not offend again once they are released, so I am pleased to join Sen. Bacon in sponsoring these important pieces of legislation.”

Ms. Tokes was abducted, assaulted and murdered in Columbus on February 8, 2017. The alleged perpetrator had recently been released on parole from prison and was supposedly being monitored via a GPS-equipped ankle bracelet. Questions were raised as to whether he was sufficiently rehabilitated to re-enter society when it was revealed that while serving his previous six-year sentence for armed robbery and rape, he had committed over 50 behavioral infractions and had been transferred to five different institutions.

“What our House and Senate companion bills do is two-fold,” said O’Brien. “First, they add indefinite sentences to first-, second-, and third-degree felonies, incentivizing good behavior in prison and decreasing the chances that violent criminals are released before their total rehabilitation. Second, our bills reform GPS monitoring procedures and post-release controls to ensure that, once released, the actions and movements of offenders are monitored more closely. This would greatly decrease the chances that a heinous crime like the one committed against Reagan Tokes would happen again.”

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