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Proposed cost cutting measures in prison budget worries prison guards

Some of the guards think that the cuts could cost some inmates their lives
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES



Reporter
Jo Ingles
 

Gov. Kasich’s newly proposed two-year state budget would make some changes in Ohio’s prisons meant to hold down costs. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, the union representing prison guards say those changes would cost more in the long run and could even cost lives.

Ingles on prison costs

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Ohio Budget Director Tim Keen says the Department of Corrections plans to take cost-cutting measures, including privatizing food service.

He says that could save $18.6 million dollars a year.

But Tim Shafer, a spokesman for the union that represents prison guards at most of Ohio’s prisons, says this just sets the state up to repeat a big mistake.

“This is an experiment that was done many years ago that resulted in disastrous results for taxpayers of this state.  Then Auditor Petro conducted an audit about the multi-million-dollar overruns and(what) these companies charged the state of Ohio.”

Shafer says inmates would have to depend more on commissary items available for purchase, and maintains that could cost lives.

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