A liberal policy group called ProgressOhio has gone to court to block the Kasich administration from selling five state prisons to private operators, reports the Columbus Dispatch. The lawsuit cited constitutional and economic concerns, alleging that the sale would be “unconstitutional and unenforceable.” Spokesman Carlo LoParo of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said the private prison plan “has been open, fair and legislatively sanctioned.”
The state plans to sell prisons, then contract with private operators to house inmates there. One of the bidders, Management and Training Corp. of Centerville, Utah, operates but does not own two of the prisons, in Conneaut and Grafton. Also up for sale are the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, the adjacent (and closed) Marion Juvenile Correctional Facility, and the Grafton Correctional Institution. The other two bidders are Corrections Corporation of America of Nashville and GEO Group Inc. of Boca Raton, Fl.