by German Lopez
In-person early voting is underway in Ohio. Find your
nearest polling booth here. Tomorrow is also the last day to register to
A federal appeals court upheld the decision to allow
in-person early voting for everyone during the three days prior to the
election. The decision comes as a big win to President Barack Obama’s
campaign, which filed a lawsuit to restore in-person early voting on the
weekend and Monday before Election Day. Republicans in the state have
repeatedly pushed against expanded early voting, citing racial politics
and costs. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Friday he will decide
what to do with the ruling after the weekend. The court ruling means Husted could close down all boards of election on the
three days before Election day, eliminating early voting for everyone —
including military voters. If Husted doesn’t act, individual county
boards of election will decide whether to stay open or closed.
The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners is discussing
the budget today. It has a few options, but all of them involve cuts.
A recently released audit by the Ohio Department of
Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) found the private prison sold to
the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has some serious problems.
The prison only met 66.7 percent of Ohio’s standards, and 47 violations
were found. CCA says it’s working with ODRC to resolve the problems. The
news mostly confirmed the findings of CityBeat’s in-depth look into
Schools responded to the state auditor’s recent report
that found five school districts were scrubbing data and the Ohio
Department of Education did not have enough safeguards. The five school
districts generally objected, saying they did not purposely alter any
data provided to the state.
Humana will be hiring for 200 full-time jobs in Greater Cincinnati.
The University of Cincinnati is turning up its search for a
new president this week. First up for consideration: Provost and
Interim President Santa Ono.The Associated Press says Cincinnati is a changed city thanks to recent development funding.There will be a bar crawl to support the Anna Louise Inn
on Oct. 13. The bar crawl, hosted by Ohioans United to Protect Abused
Women, will last from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tickets will be sold for $10 with
all proceeds going to the Anna Louise Inn. Participating bars will be
Milton's Prospect Hill Tavern, Neon's, The Drinkery, MOTR, JAPS and
Mayor Mark Mallory challenged San Francisco’s mayor to a
chili cook-off to benefit the city that wins the Reds-Giants playoffs.
Mallory touted some fighting words in a statement announcing the
friendly bet: “I sure hope San Francisco Chili is as good as Mayor Lee
says it is, that way it raises lots of money for Cincinnati’s youth,
after the Reds send the Giants packing in the first round.”Meet the chair of the U.S. House Science Committee's panel on investigations and oversight. He says evolution and the big bang theory are “lies straight from the pit of Hell.”
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and
Corrections (ODRC) on Sept. 25 said it will not seek further
privatization of state prisons. The announcement was made less than a
week after CityBeat published a story detailing the various problems posed by privatizing prisons (“Liberty for Sale,” issue of Sept. 19).
by German Lopez
State agency says Ohio will focus on lowering recidivism
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
(ODRC) on Tuesday said it will not seek further privatization of state prisons. The announcement was made less than a week after CityBeat published an in-depth story detailing the various problems posed by privatizing prisons (“Liberty for Sale,” issue of Sept. 19).
Gary Mohr, director of ODRC, made the announcement while
talking to legislative reporting service Gongwer in Columbus Tuesday.“We're going to stay the course on those (sentencing reforms) and I think privatizing
additional prisons would take away from that reform effort that we have,
so I'm not anticipating privatizing any more prisons in the short term
here,” he told Gongwer.
Ohio became the first state to sell one of its own prisons to a
private prison company in 2011. The ACLU criticized the move for its potential conflict of interest. The organization argued that the profit goal of private prison
companies, which make money by holding as many prisoners as possible,
fundamentally contradicts the public policy goal of keeping inmate reentry into
prisons and prison populations as low as possible.In his comments to Gongwer, Mohr said the state will now focus on lowering recidivism, not increasing privatization: “I don't think you can go through upheaval of a system and continue to
put prioritization on reform at the same time. I think if we
were to re-engage again on privatization of prisons, then we're going to
take the eye off the ball a little bit, and I think we're making great
progress. It's a matter of focus.”In the past,
the ACLU and other groups criticized Mohr's previous ties to private
prison companies — particularly his private work for Corrections
Corporation of America (CCA) before he became the director for ODRC. CCA
in 2011 became the first private company in Ohio's history to purchase a state prison. The connection presents another possible conflict of interest, and it is only one of the many connections between CCA and Gov. John Kasich's administration.
Mike Brickner, ACLU researcher and director of communications and public policy, praised ODRC's decision in a statement: “Despite
millions spent by private companies trying to convince policy makers
and local governments otherwise, numerous studies have shown private
prisons put their own profit ahead of good public policy. ODRC is wise
to see that the privatization model distracts from their important
efforts to shrink inmate population and reduce recidivism.”
But Brickner also made further demands from the state: “ODRC
should go a step further by making a commitment not to privatize
additional prison services such as food and medical care. Arguments for
privatizing these services use the same faulty logic as the arguments
for privatizing entire prisons.”
CityBeat was not able to immediately reach ODRC for comment on Mohr’s announcement. This story will be updated if
comments become available.
During the course of researching and reporting last week's story on prison privatization in Ohio, CityBeat found the ODRC to be dismissive of our interest in speaking with Mohr or a spokesperson about private prisons. During two weeks of correspondence, CityBeat received numerous excuses as to why the ODRC couldn't grant an interview and eventually received two emails with the exact same statement — one from ODRC, a state
department, and one from Management and Training Corporation, a private
company that manages prisons in Ohio. The statement added a strange twist to the already-suspicious fact that the ODRC didn't want to talk about its prison privatization plan with the media. A full explanation of the issues ODRC posed to the reporting process can be found in the editor's note at the end of the cover story.
0 Comments · Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Vogue magazine has banned too-skinny models, adding
that it will no longer knowingly work with models under the age of 16
or who appear to have an eating disorder.