The results of a surprise inspection of the Lake Erie Correctional Institution (LECI) were released yesterday and they provide further evidence of what we already knew: Kasich’s decision to sell the facility to private prison operator CCA (the former employer of Kasich’s Corrections Director) was an amazingly bad idea.
Privatization of the facility under Corrections Corporation of America has lead to serious violations, safety issues for inmates and employees, an increase in drug use and crime in and around the prison and a dramatic increase in calls to local law enforcement. We’ve discussed the big problems again and again here at Plunderbund.
According to the [...]Full Story... →
According to Conneaut City Councilman Neil LaRusch, Governor John Kasich is not living up to the promises he made to the city when he decided to sell off the local prison to private operators for a one-time payment of $73 Million dollars in order to balance his first budget.
A letter sent by Mr. LaRusch to the Governor’s office claims the Governor assured Conneaut City Council that “the City of Conneaut Police Department would not be responsible for investigations at the [prison]“.
At first, it seemed Kasich was going out on a limb to live up to his promise: he [...]Full Story... →
When Kasich unveiled his first biennium budget in March 2011, he called for selling five State prisons to “save money” by privatization. By the time the budgetary legislative sausage making process was completed, the Kasich Administration reversed course and instead sold only one prison, privatized the operation (but not ownership) of another and took one privately operated prison back under State control.
At the time, the Kasich Administration claimed that only the bid by Corrections Corporation of America (the former employer of Gary Mohr, Kasich’s Rehabilitation and Corrections Director) for the Lake Erie Correctional Institution made sense for the [...]Full Story... →
For months the Kasich administration – with support from Attorney General DeWine’s office – has insisted the Ohio State Highway Patrol already has the legal authority to operate at the newly privatized prison in Conneaut, Ohio.
And for months, we have disagreed.
Last week Kasich finally admitted we were right. Well, kind of. In his mid-biennium budget, Kasich included language to change existing law, which only allows troopers to operate on state owned or leased property, so that the patrol can also investigate serious crimes at private prisons.
While it’s nice to see he’s finally come to realize [...]Full Story... →
Early last month I discussed attempts by Kasich and Batchelder to help grant Public Safety Director Tom Charles his secret wish: expanding the Ohio State Highway Patrol into a State Police organization, giving them power to investigate crimes and enforce laws on non-state property.
Current law clearly limits the Patrol’s jurisdiction to state owned or leased property except in the case of an extreme emergency, but Charles has convinced his pals in the Governor’s office and the Legislature – and now, it seems, in the AG’s office too – to help him change that.
The first attempt involved giving [...]Full Story... →
In July of 2009, Ohio’s Legislature – including the Republican-controlled State Senate – passed Governor Ted Strickland’s budget that included $900 million per year in revenue from Video Lottery Terminals for racetracks.
The VLT plan was quickly put on hold once a group of former Ken Blackwell staffers – including Carlo Loparo – formed a group called LetOhioVote.com and sued to have the VLT plan put up for a vote. LetOhioVote.com, funded by millions of dollars from contributors they refused to name, was formed specifically to kill the plan for raising extra revenue from VLTs so that Strickland would [...]Full Story... →
Why stop there? Why not privatize the rest of the criminal justice? Let’s create for-profit courts and for-profit law enforcement, too. What’s the worst that could happen?
John Kasich is the only person who could see how our “tough on crime”/“truth in sentencing” laws that the Republicans passed in the 1990s has lead to a dangerously overcrowded prison population in Ohio that is bankrupting this State and lament the lack of a profit motive in it all…
So, apparently, John Kasich thinks it’s wrong to have inmates providing prison labor at the Governor’s Mansion, but it’s okay to have inmates [...]Full Story... →
John Kasich just announced in Chillicothe that he’s appointing Gary Mohr to be the next director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections.
Mohr has been a managing director of Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the first, for-profit private prison company in American and has his own prison consulting business operated out of Chillicothe.
CCA has its own sordid history in Ohio during then-Governor Voinovich’s experimentation with private prisons as a budget saving mechanism.
“In 14 months of operation, the Northeast Ohio Correction Center in Youngstown, Ohio experienced 13 stabbings, 2 murders and 6 escaped [...]Full Story... →
Plans by the Kasich administration to privatize food service and other functions at facilities operated by the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) and Department of Youth Services (DYS) could eliminate nearly 500 state jobs this year.
Privatization of Food Service at DRC – 400 jobs Privatization of DRC Warehouse at each Institution – 36 jobs Privatization of Corrections Medical Center Laboratory – 12 jobs Privatization of Food Service at DYS – 60 jobs
The Kasich administration claims the privatization effort could save over $16 Million a year, but if previous experiences with privatizing food service at state prisons are any indication, fraud, over [...]Full Story... →
When a series of fights broke out at the Lake Erie Corrections Institution last week, the company that operates the prison, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), was forced to call Special Response Teams (SRTs) from the state of Ohio for assistance.
According to representatives of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), CCA’s own special response team has been in Mississippi since May when a riot broke out at a CCA facility in that state. One guard was killed and multiple others were injured in that incident.
To assist CCA in Friday’s disturbance at the prison in Conneaut, Ohio, two [...]Full Story... →
(crossposted from Ohio Budget Watch)
You may remember that the Kasich budget proposal featured the potential privatization of five state prisons. The administration estimated that the sale of prisons to private operators would result in $200 million for the state, with $50 million of that going to fill the general fund budget hole and the rest staying with the Department of Correction, whose budget was otherwise hit pretty hard.
Today we learned that the administration has reviewed the bids and found only one proposal worth acting upon: they will sell the Lake Erie Correctional Institution [...]Full Story... →