John Kasich loves to talk about his “Jobs Budgets”. But when you really look at the numbers, it’s hard not to see the real goal: the elimination of union jobs in Ohio. Corrections is one of the largest and most heavily unionized areas of state government, and these workers appear to be one of his primary targets.
Kasich’s first budget cut nearly $129 Million from the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (DRC) and the Department of Youth Services (DYS). He also sold one state facility, the Lake Erie Correctional Institution, to private prison operator Corrections Corporation of America and privatized the North Shore Correctional Institution.
According to DRC’s Monthly Fact Sheets, the total number of Corrections Officers in public institutions has decreased by 749 since January 2011 – a drop of 10.6% in the two years since Kasich has been in office. Some corrections officers were forced to take jobs at the newly privatized prison for less pay and reduced benefits. Others weren’t so “lucky”.
The Governor’s latest budget proposal continues those cuts, coming it at $117 Million below 2010/2011 levels. He’s also hatched a new plan that would eliminate 500 jobs at Ohio’s prisons by privatizing food service operations.
Numbers and sources are included below.