Official: Ohio Close to Needing $1B Prison Due to Population

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) – The head of Ohio’s prisons says the state is close to needing a new prison, but that he won’t ask for the estimated $1 billion to build it.

The Newark Advocate reports that prison director Gary Mohr spoke at his suburban Columbus church last week, saying he may not request the money but that someone else will.

Ohio has 400 more prisoners compared to the same time last year at about 50,000. The female inmate population has grown nearly 5 percent in that time to more than 4,200.

Managing Director of Operations Ed Voorhies says Mohr has vowed to resign if he has to ask for a new prison.

Voorhies says a large part of that population consists of “low-level non-violent” offenders who are “better treated in the community.”