MOUNT VERNON — It has never been easy to break out of an Ohio prison, and these days it’s also a little harder to get in.
Ohio House Bill 86, also known as the Prison Reform Bill, has been in effect for a year. One of its main objectives is to reduce acute overcrowding in the state’s correctional facilities, where the population had swelled to more than 51,000 in 28 facilities designed to house only 38,000 inmates.
“Some thought we should build more prisons, and others that we should reduce populations,” Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher said. The latter position prevailed, and HB86 has already had a modest impact. Prison populations have dipped below 50,000, and the Department of Corrections (DOC) hopes they will drop further to 47,000 by 2015.
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