State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) released the following statement in response to the passage of House Bill 238, which will allow the state to sell the North Central Correctional Institution and Turtle Creek Center.
“I oppose the sale of the North Central Correctional Institution and the Turtle Creek Center because privatizing state prisons is the wrong direction for Ohio.
“The state recently sold the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, and the results have been disastrous. Since this sale 18 months ago, there have been 248 security complaints, compared to 157 such complaints in the eleven years prior. Also, after the sale, the facility immediately added 300 more beds, and has suffered serious overcrowding problems and hazardous conditions for inmates and workers.
“Private prison management companies have bad track records in Ohio. For example, Corrections Corporation of America was fined $500,000 by the state because of a 300 percent increase in prisoner-on-staff assaults and a 187.5 percent increase in prisoner-on-prisoner assaults. The financial records for these private companies are not transparent, and we still aren’t sure if money is being saved or how these many problems are being addressed.
“These last-minute additions to House Bill 238 have not been vetted. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections did not provide testimony to the legislative committees hearing this proposal. A lot of questions and concerns remain, and the governor should veto this rush authorization of sale.”