October 25, 2014

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Ohio prison system wants meal service privatized


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio prisons system wants to privatize its food service operations in a move that could save $15 million and result in more than 300 lost jobs.

The Department of Rehabilitation and Correction says it remains committed to balancing its budget without reducing bed space or closing any more prisons.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said Thursday that savings would come through staffing, meal and equipment costs, with the possible reduction of 380 jobs.

Smith says 56 of the 380 employees have already found other jobs within the agency and the state hopes to help more find positions.

Unions representing guards at the adult and youth prison system, which is also considering a privatized food service, promise to fight the proposal, calling it unfair and unsafe.