In his lust to cut state spending, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) proposed a plan that could leave guard towers unmanned at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison located near two schools and a residential neighborhood in Lucasville. The plan would close six of the prison’s eight towers, resulting in savings of a measly $2.1 million. The proposal was met with resistance from local union officials and state Rep. Terry Johnson (R), who recalled the 1993 riot that left one guard and 10 inmates dead inside the facility:
“The people guarding the prison are my friends and neighbors,” Johnson said. “Their welfare and that of their families are my highest priority. The public owes them an enormous debt of gratitude for the difficult job they do so well. This potential tower closure presents a grave concern for me. If keeping those towers open will help ensure a single time that one guard gets home safely to his or her family when they might otherwise have been harmed then I am for keeping the towers open.” […]
“I was here in 1993 with the (Ohio) National Guard and saw the disastrous consequences of a full-scale riot firsthand,” Johnson said. “That was a terrible time and lives were lost. We need to ensure that never happens again.”
Given his short time in office, Kasich is already remarkably unpopular with Ohio voters. Endangering prison guards, school children and families in the name of saving money probably isn’t the way to bring those poll numbers back up.
manicteacher says: A non-issue. By the time Kasich is done with Ohio’s economy, no one is going to want to break out of prison anyway.