COLUMBUS, Ohio Ohio's prisons director says unless sentencing guidelines are changed, the state's inmate population will reach 60,000 within a decade.
Terry Collins spoke Thursday to the House Finance Committee about a plan to increase the use of diversion programs and alternative punishments for nonviolent criminals.
Gov. Ted Strickland has proposed changing Ohio's sentencing laws and adding money for halfway houses so that fewer people are sent to state prison for their crimes, the most expensive option for their rehabilitation.
Ohio prisons are at 132 percent capacity with 50,719 inmates. Collins told lawmakers that without changes, Ohio would have to spend about $1 billion by 2018 to build extra space for the increased number of inmates.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.