- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio’s prisons director wants to strengthen the state law that allows for early, emergency release of inmates to ease overcrowding.

Gary Mohr, director of the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, is asking for the strengthened language in his overview for the upcoming two-year state budget.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith tells the Columbus Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1rUaLoH ) that emergency release, which was enacted in 1997 but has never been used, will be an option only if overcrowding persists and money is unavailable for additional prison beds.

The agency’s current two-year budget is about $3.2 billion. Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) will propose a state budget including money for prisons later this winter.

Ohio prisons held 50,641 inmates at the end of last year, 31 percent above capacity.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, https://www.dispatch.com

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