New Reagan Tokes bill aims to improve monitoring of violent parolees

The Lantern
House Bill 166, a continuation of the Reagan Tokes Act, passed the Ohio House of Representatives Feb. 9. Credit: Tom Hanks | Lantern File Photo

When Lisa Tokes’ daughter, Ohio State student Reagan Tokes, was kidnapped, raped and murdered five years ago by a man on parole, she said it was a failure of the state of Ohio. Now, she hopes to limit the release of criminals who have not exhibited good behavior throughout their sentence with a follow-up bill to the Reagan Tokes Act of 2018.

Reagan Tokes, a fourth-year in psychology, was kidnapped by Brian Golsby outside her workplace in February 2017. He then raped and killed her and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. At the time of the incident, Golsby had been on parole for armed robbery and attempted rape and wore an ankle monitor.

“My daughter suffered immensely at the hands of evil because of a system that was flawed and failed,” Lisa Tokes said.

The bill, a continuation of the Reagan Tokes Act , hopes to address the monitoring of violent criminals after their release from prison. It passed the Ohio House of Representatives Feb. 9 and is awaiting approval from the Ohio Senate.

Kristin Boggs, state representative for the 18th Congressional District and sponsor of the bill, said the current model for monitoring violent offenders after they leave prison entails ongoing GPS monitoring that deters, but does not prevent, misconduct.

“Our bill requires that if you’re going to put a GPS monitor on someone, you have to be able to say to that monitor, ‘This is where they should or shouldn’t be at any given time,’ ” Boggs said.

Boggs said the Reagan Tokes Act was originally split into two parts — Senate Bill 201 and Senate Bill 202. She said Senate Bill 201 became law, but Senate Bill 202 did not pass the senate.

Boggs said the Reagan Tokes Act is the first half of the original bill and allows a parole board to determine if a person is eligible for release even after the time of their sentence. She said House Bill 166, the second half of the originally proposed bill, aims to monitor released criminals more closely.

Lisa Tokes said this could reduce the caseload of parole officers.

“Like the person who did this to Reagan, they’re not being properly monitored, and they’re able to go places and do things that they shouldn’t be, and if attention was placed on that sooner versus later, crimes could be prevented,” Lisa Tokes said.

The bill was referred to an Ohio Senate committee Feb. 16, but there is no timeline on when it will be voted on, according to the Ohio Legislature website .

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