COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's Note: The video above is from a January 21, 2021 press conference in which Gov. DeWine announced the extension of Ohio's curfew.
Gov. Mike DeWine spent part of his Friday taking part in an online event for a project that he has spearheaded since the start of his administration.
DeWine provided brief virtual remarks at an event for the Ohio Governor's Expedited Pardon Project. The project, begun by Gov. DeWine in 2019, seeks to reduce challenges surrounding a clemency application in Ohio for people meeting certain criteria with exceptional stories who can show that they have been rehabilitated and have contributed positively to their communities after completing their sentences.
According to the governor's office, in the first year of the project, nine people received a pardon through the expedited program, but it is estimated that thousands of other Ohioans also qualify. In his remarks, DeWine said he's disappointed with the small numbers of people granted pardons in the first year of his program meant to make the process simpler and faster.
As of December 17, 2020, 74 individuals have submitted applications to the expedited pardon project. Of the 74, the Project Team accepted 30 clients. Another 16 are under review, six have been asked to reapply after meeting certain conditions, and 22 applicants did not meet the existing requirements. Applicants not accepted into the program were informed that they can still seek a pardon via the standard pardon process.
The governor said the program has not lived up to its potential so he's making another push to promote it.
The project was established in collaboration between Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the Reentry Clinic at The University of Akron School of Law.
Click here for more information on how to apply.
Learn more about the program below:
The Associated Press contributed to this story