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March 18, 2011

"Do the crime, pay more than time"

The title of this post is the headline of this article appearing today on the front-page of my own Columbus Dispatch.  Here is how the piece begins:

When it comes to budget sacrifices, it appears no one is exempt in Ohio -- not even prisoners, who will have to pay $1 a month for electricity in their cells.  Also behind bars, flavored drinks are out, saving $1 million, and meals will have less variety, saving $3 million over two years.

Those changes are part of $30 million in cost savings set in motion by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction as part of the state's budget belt-tightening. Among other changes: closing two prison farms, eliminating the $75 "gate pay" for certain inmates upon release and contracting for some medical services.

Overall, the agency must cut $188 million in the coming biennium under Gov. John Kasich's budget blueprint.  Much of that would be done by laying off or eliminating positions of 171 workers, selling five prisons to private operators and offering early retirement to veteran employees.

But prisons chief Gary Mohr, looking to squeeze more money out of his budget, called together 200 staff members and asked them to come up with additional money-saving ideas. Many of the resulting suggestions were included in the plan rolled out this week.

Requiring inmates to pay $1 a month if they use televisions and radios in their cells or bunks will save about $250,000 a year, prisons spokesman Carlo LoParo said.  Indigent inmates and those on court-ordered repayment plans will be exempt.

Inmates are paid an average of $18 a month for doing jobs in prisons -- more if they work for Ohio Penal Industries.  The money goes into an account, maintained by the prison, which will be tapped for the electricity charge.

The flavored, noncarbonated drinks inmates are now served are being eliminated.  Menus will be modified to serve more of the "most-popular and least-expensive items," the budget plan said.  Together, those will save an estimated $4 million over the biennium. LoParo said inmates have orange and apple juice, coffee and milk available with breakfast but will get only water with the noon and evening meals with these changes.

March 18, 2011 at 09:26 AM | Permalink


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hell of a prison system if you can get private TV's and electric powered radios'

here in florida they get a single tv the entire group can watch and battery powered radios. no wall plugs period in inmate areas.

Posted by: rodsmith | Mar 18, 2011 2:07:57 PM

I like what you have said,it is really helpful to me,thanks!

Posted by: Big pony | Apr 11, 2011 7:56:37 AM

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