COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio's prisons director says if the state doesn't sell five prisons, multiple prisons would likely have to close, inmates would be shipped out of state and thousands of employees would be laid off.
Gary Mohr told an Ohio House committee Monday that buyers of the prisons would have to give preference to existing employees when making staffing decisions. He says the private operators would not get to choose their inmates.
Gov. John Kasich wants to sell five prisons, overhaul sentencing laws and charge inmates for electricity to save millions of dollars amid an $8 billion budget shortfall.
Mohr says the prison sales could generate $200 million for the state.
He says other cost-cutting measures include allowing certain inmates to reduce their sentences through substance abuse and other training.
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