COLUMBUS, Ohio — A lockup along the shores of Lake Erie has become the first state prison in the nation to be sold to a private company.
Corrections Corporation of America will buy Lake Erie Correctional Institution in northeastern Ohio’s Ashtabula County for $72.7 million, more than the $50 million needed from the privatization effort to balance the state’s prison budget.
CCA, the nation’s largest prison operator, takes control of the Lake Erie facility in Conneaut on Dec. 31, pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the move.
Offering the prisons for sale was an idea spearheaded by Republican Gov. John Kasich as he grappled with an $8 billion budget hole earlier this year.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said the prison sale doesn’t fix the main problem: that too many people are being incarcerated.
CCA houses 75,000 offenders and detainees in more than 60 facilities with more than 80,000 beds in the U.S.