The ACLU of Ohio has been fighting “prisons for profit” for years. The trend to privatize prisons as a method to reduce costs has been ineffective, and only contributes to the surging rates of mass incarceration, with Ohio prisons at 130% of capacity.
In 2012, Ohio made history as the first state to ever sell a publicly owned prison to a for-profit company, and now it’s poised to do the same again. In a play of legislative sleight of hand, politicians amended the sale of the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, into an unrelated bill just before summer recess and passed it without any chance for testimony, public discussion, or media coverage.
By Steve David
Shortsighted policy decisions to cut spending often cost the state more than it saves. That’s one of the lessons history teaches us, particularly when it comes to prisons for profit.
In September 2011, Ohio completed the sale of Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut to the Corrections Corporation of America, the nation’s largest for-profit prison company.