Monday, March 14, 2011

Ohio Governor: Privatize State Prisons? is reporting that Ohio Governor John Kasich is looking to begin to privatize state prisons.

The Governor may announce his intention this week as part of his budget proposal. The Columbus Dispatch is reporting the Governor intends to sell three to five state prisons to private entities. Kasich's first budget proposal will roil the landscape, the paper says, especially the public, nonprofit and private entities that count on the state's largesse. There is a projected $8 billion hole in the next two-year state budget, and Kasich won't fill it with tax increases.

The budget will be announced tomorrow.

How serious is the prison problem in Ohio? Ohio's prison inmate population has grown by more than 500 percent since 1972 and is projected to soar to 53,992 by July if proposed sentencing changes and alternatives to punishment aren't passed by the General Assembly.
Prison spending typically outpaces spending by most other state agencies – totaling $53 billion nationwide last year, and averaging $1.6 billion a year in Ohio. That’s up from $480 million in 1991 and $1.4 billion in 2001. About one of every four state employees works for the Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation Services, reported last April.

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