Turning more Ohio prisons over to private operators won’t save much money, will undermine sentencing reform, and will pose a security risk, contends the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. Prisons for Profit, an ACLU report looking at prison privatization, concluded that Gov. John Kasich “is not doing the taxpayers of Ohio any favors” by planning to sell five state prisons, says the Columbus Dispatch.
“Doing so will not only worsen the strain on Ohio’s budget, it will also work strongly against the rehabilitation of low-level offenders and jeopardize the safety of ordinary Ohioans,” the group concluded. About 9 percent of nearly 1.6 million incarcerated people in the U.S. are in private prisons. The Kasich administration has solicited bids to sell state prison properties; estimates of the proceeds range from $50million to $200 million. Administration officials say the deal offers the state short-term gain from the sales revenue and long-term benefit by reduced operating costs.