Criminal Justice Legislation

HB 238- Full Privatization of North Central Corrections Facility (2015-2016)

Link to Bill:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-HB-238
Status:
Enacted
Summary:

HB 238 authorizes the sale of the privately operated North Central Correctional Institution (NCCI) in Marion to a private buyer. It also contains non-controversial sales of 17 other state-owned properties including the Turtle Creek half-way house in Lebanon. Upon purchase, the NCCI must remain a prison.

The sale of NCCI was originally part of HB 239 but was quietly added to HB 238 at the last minute without allowing for debate or testimony.

Primary Sponsors:
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Secondary Sponsors:
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Committee:
Government Accountability and Oversight (H), State and Local Government (S)
LSC Legislation Status:
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-status?id=GA131-HB-238
Jurisdiction/Legislation Level:
State
Our take on this bill:

The ACLU of Ohio strongly opposes the privatization of prisons, including the sale of real estate and land to private buyers. Additionally, the ACLU is opposed to the manner in which the legislative process was disingenuously used to add this component without real debate or notice.

HB 238 would further entrench prison privatization into the State of Ohio, and would create a number of civil liberties and other concerns for those inside and outside these newly private prisons. Private prisons tend to encourage overcrowding, poor sanitation, and other unsafe conditions, and this impacts prisoners, employees, and those living in the local community.

Additionally, prison privatization leads to decreased transparency, and particularly, difficulty in obtaining important prison records. Finally, once a prison and its land has become fully private, the government has almost no way to address problems within the prison, or reclaim the facility if serious complications arise.

Bill Status:

Introduced in the House on 6/1/2015

Passed House Committee on 6/17/15

Passed the House on 6/17/15

Passed Senate Committee on 6/25/15—with NCCI sale added

Passed the Senate on 6/25/15

Enacted on 6/30/15