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Published: Sunday, 4/3/2011 - Updated: 4 years ago

Ohio considers closing prison watchtowers to cut costs

Described as unneeded security method


LEBANON, Ohio — Ohio is considering whether to change how watchtowers are used at two prisons as the state works to address an estimated $8 billion budget gap.

The Dayton Daily News reports Republican Gov. John Kasich’s proposal would close six watchtowers at the state’s maximum-security prison in Lucasville. It also would reduce the use of one of two towers in operation at a close-security prison in Lebanon in southwest Ohio.

Kasich has said closing the watchtowers could save $2 million.

A state corrections spokeswoman says among 31 state prisons, Lucasville and Lebanon are the only two that have watchtowers.

She says the towers have become an outdated way to secure the perimeter of the facilities, which have top-notch security systems, fence alarm systems and an armed vehicle on patrol.

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