Budget cuts could close as many as 5 Ohio prisons

JULIE CARR SMYTH AP Statehouse Correspondent Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Ohio's prisons director tells Gov. John Kasich's (KAY'-siks) administration that a 10 percent budget cut would mean closing up to five state prisons.

In an agency budget request sent this fall, Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Director Gary Mohr (moor) said Hocking Correctional Facility will certainly be closed in the coming biennium due to Ohio's shrinking prison population. It is a small, stand-alone facility that houses older inmates.

Mohr said four additional facilities, including three large prisons, would need to be closed if budget cuts reached 10 percent of current levels. The contents of the request were first reported by Gongwer News Service.

Mohr's other budget-cutting ideas include privatizing prison food service, stepping up recycling and waste reduction efforts, and cutting water and electricity use.