Ohio Shutting Down Prison Farms, to Sell Land

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Ohio’s corrections department is shutting down its prison farms in a move to raise millions of dollars to fund new rehabilitation programs through land sales.

Prisons director Gary Mohr says the state will continue operations this year but prepare to sell off livestock and stop farming by 2017.

Mohr tells The Associated Press he had to weigh the involvement of just 220 inmates annually at peak season with the 20,000 inmates released each year in need of help re-entering the community.

Mohr says the goal is to take the millions expected to be raised from the sale or lease of 12,500 acres and create more rehabilitation and job-training programs for inmates.

Mohr says the move will affect about 70 employees but he does not anticipate layoffs.