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Ohio Lawmaker Pushes For Harsher Penalties For Parolees Who Fail Drug Tests

Rep. Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) discusses new proposal to outline public records standards for police body cameras.

An Ohio lawmaker wants the state to take tougher action when an ex-convict on parole fails a random drug test. The proposal is meant to act as an intervention for addicts.

Under HB457, a person on parole or under community control would automatically go back to jail if they test positive for heroin, fentanyl or carfentanil. The bill would also allow the option for treatment rather than jail time.

Republican state Rep. Niraj Antani, the bill’s sponsor, wants to create more access to treatment facilities and says jails should not be used as detox centers.

“But until that time, jail is simply the best place for someone to detox and to be safely placed if they are (using) heroin and fentanyl ­- until we can figure out something else for them,” Antani said.

He adds that this can cut the person off from drugs before the possibility of a deadly overdose.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.