Ohio inmate cuts not as quick as anticipated


NEWARK, Ohio — An Ohio prison official says reductions in the state's inmate population have not come as quickly as they anticipated after new legislation aimed at addressing overcrowding.

A 2011 bill promised to reduce the state prison population by 3,500 and save taxpayers up to $46.2 million by fiscal year 2015.

But Linda Janes, chief of staff with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, tells The (Newark) Advocate (http://ohne.ws/Tg4jSn ) that officials are underwhelmed by the impact so far.

The legislation had a number of cost-cutting provisions — including raising dollar-amount thresholds for theft offenses and capping some third-degree felonies at three years instead of five.

Ohio judges have reduced the average number of people sent to prison by more than 100 each month compared to the year before the law.