Originally Published July 01, 2020
Child endangerment is a serious offense not only in the court of law but also in the community. In Ohio, these laws fall under Section 2919.22 of the Ohio Revised Code. These laws are staunchly enforced to protect those who technically cannot protect themselves.
Section 2919.22 was made not only to protect minors under the age of 18 but also to those with physical or mental disabilities under the age of 21. Any action which poses a substantial risk to a minor’s health and safety is considered a violation of this statute. Health and safety can refer to physical, emotional, and mental states. An example of these violations is driving under the influence with a child in the same vehicle.
WHAT ACTS ARE CONSIDERED AS CHILD ENDANGERMENT?
I further simplified Section 2919.22 by making the terms more understandable to us civilians. The following acts are violations against the statute:
- Any action which poses a substantial risk to a child’s health and safety
- Abuse of the child
- Torture or cruel mistreatment of the child
- Applying physical punishment, or physically restraining the child wherein it can cause serious bodily harm
- Repeatedly administering unwarranted discipline, and there’s a serious risk that this could hinder or impair the child’s mental health and development
- Involving the child in child pornography
- Allowing the child to live on the same parcel of property within 100 feet of drugs and drug-related operations. (See Section 2925.04 and 2925.041)
- Drive under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs with a child in the same vehicle
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT FOR CHILD ENDANGERMENT IN OHIO?
There can be a wide range of punishments for child endangerment. Depending on the gravity of the offense, you could be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor to a second-degree felony. You could face between 6 months to 8 years in prison along with a hefty fine and restitution.
WHAT ARE THE PUNISHMENTS ASSOCIATED WITH EACH CLASSIFICATION OF CRIME?
This misdemeanor can be charged against:
- Those guilty of act 1 (see list above) can include neglect, abandonment, and contributing to delinquency.
- Abuse without physical injury
- DUI with a child in vehicle minus physical injuries
A first-degree misdemeanor can land you up to 6 months of prison time, a fine up to $1,000, or both. A first-degree misdemeanor may also be punishable by probation.
FACING THE OUTSIDE WORLD
The second a prisoner steps out of the prison gate, their life changes. Gone are the morning counts and prison guards banging on cell bars. No more calls for breakfast or the struggle to get things from the commissary. They can make and receive calls whenever they want, eat to their heart’s desire, or wear clothes that are still in fashion. (Related: What’s in a Prison Menu?)
While this all sounds liberating, the prisoner might experience a culture shock. Remember, they were out of the loop for a time. A lot has changed since the day they went inside. Things that for us are very easy can become a challenge for them. Some prisoners are even daunted at the sight of smartphones and electronic bus cards. They can get very disoriented and scared.
Aside from fear and confusion, prisoners also have to deal with self-esteem issues. Ex-convicts aren’t really favorably looked upon in society. Employment opportunities can be scarce too. Many of them also don’t have any skills to make a living from and the fact that even ordering coffee can confuse them doesn’t help either. All these can affect how they view themselves and crumble their self-confidence. This can lead to another problem: depression.
Depression is very common among newly released prisoners. The struggles of adjusting to their new life, looking for a job and coping with social stigma can take its toll on one’s mental health. Yet, not all of them can afford therapy or have a family to help them through these hard times.
Some prisoners, especially those who’ve been inside for most of their adult life, have no one to call family. Or even someone from outside who remembers them. (Some institutions blame this partly on overpriced prison calls and the lack of cheap jail call alternatives.) Prison has been their life and most of the people they consider family is in there. With no one to turn to and no house to live in, most prisoners have no choice but to go back. Prison isn’t pleasant by any stretch of the imagination but for these people, it’s better than freezing to death on some sidewalk.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.