Ohio Treasurer Candidate Wants Private Prison Spending Study

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – A candidate for state treasurer says the office should determine the impacts of prison privatization on Ohio taxpayers.

In a Wednesday letter, Democrat Rob Richardson asked Republican State Treasurer Josh Mandel to conduct a fiscal and economic impact study into Ohio’s prison system.

Richardson is an attorney and former board chairman at the University of Cincinnati. He wrote of “a deeply personal concern” over Ohio having one of the nation’s highest mass incarceration rates.

He said Ohioans deserve to know how much tax money is going to private prison operators. Richardson said that spending would better be used on education, affordable health care and better-paying jobs.

A spokeswoman for Mandel’s office didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Richardson faces Westerville businessman Neil Patel in the Democratic primary.