World

Ohio sells prison to private company

An 11-year-old penitentiary along on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio has become the first state prison in the United States to be sold outright to a private company.

An 11-year-old penitentiary along on the shores of Lake Erie in Ohio has become the first state prison in the United States to be sold outright to a private company.

Lake Erie Correctional Institution in northeastern Ohio is the only one of five state prisons up for sale that will be sold, state officials said Thursday. It's going to Corrections Corporation of America for $72.7 million US.

The four other prisons for sale didn't generate advantageous offers.

As part of the state's prison privatization plan, Utah-based Management Training Corp. won rights to operate two publicly owned facilities in Marion, Ohio, as a single prison camp; and a privately run state prison in Lorain County will be returned to state control.

Ohio estimates it will save an estimated $13 million US annually with the moves, part of Republican Gov. John Kasich's budget-cutting efforts. 

Lake Erie Correctional Institution is a minimum- and medium-security facility with 1,500 inmates. 

Private companies have been involved in running prisons in the U.S. for decades and currently operate more than 150 institutions. Corrections Corporation of America was the first company to take over the complete operation of a U.S. penitentiary, in 1984.

With files from CBC News