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May 10, 2011

Prison guards in Ohio protesting plans to sell prisons

As detailed in this local piece, in Ohio a group of prison guards "picketed the Grafton Correctional Institution from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to protest the possible sale of five Ohio prisons, including Grafton Correctional, to private companies."  Here is more:

Trucks and cars passing by the prisons on state Route 83 honked in apparent support as picketers carried signs such as “fire sale” and “Open House Today Kasich Realty” protesting the proposed sale.  Two state representatives who joined corrections officers said the state should call off the proposal because of new state revenue projections....

The sale of the prisons, which goes to the state Senate this week, is expected to bring in $200 million and save $6.6 million in operating costs a year.  “My hope is that the Senate slows down and looks at it,” said [Dan] Ramos, D-Lorain.  “This is a thankless job and you have to be willing to risk your life every day, and if you risk your life you should be able to afford your mortgage.”...

While acknowledging they face an uphill battle, corrections officers and other staff manning the picket line said they hope the state hangs onto the prisons instead of turning them over to private companies.  None of the companies are from Ohio, so any profits would be going out of state, said James Adkins, who works at the Ohio Reformatory for Women and serves as a representative of the Ohio Civil Service Employees Association.

The state will be losing valuable workers if Grafton Correctional and other prisons are sold and guards move to other professions because they can’t work at the wages offered at the private prisons, according to union members.  Dan Sablack, chief steward at Lorain Correctional Institution, which is also in Grafton, said there’s a chance that Grafton Correctional’s officer of the year, 57-year-old former minister David Partlow, might be among those out of a job because he only has four years of seniority.

Some recent related posts on Ohio's prison sale plans:

May 10, 2011 at 09:09 AM | Permalink

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