Analysis: Tough times for Ohio prison system - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Analysis: Tough times for Ohio prison system

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By ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS
AP Legal Affairs Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Tough times for Ohio prisons could mean tough choices for the state if current trends continue.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is facing a glut of unwelcome news, from high-profile inmate suicides to four homicides at a single prison in Toledo.

One of the biggest concerns is the continued growth of the prison population despite a 2011 law meant to lower the number of inmates.

At stake is the possibility of federal intervention if capacity grows too high as well as the specter of new prison construction.

Something will have to give, since the agency's budget has remained flat at $1.5 billion despite rising expenses.

Prisons director Gary Mohr remains optimistic that inmate growth can be reversed with the help of judges and lawmakers.

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