Bill allows sale of 2nd Ohio prison to private operator

FILE - This Nov. 21, 2011 photo shows the main entrance to North Central Correctional Institution, in Marion, Ohio. The state could sell the central Ohio prison to a private prison operator, creating the second privately owned and operated correctional institutions in the state, under a bill on the way to Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The legislation approved last month authorizes the state to put North Central Correctional Institution up for sale on the condition it continues to be run as a prison. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The state can sell a central Ohio prison to a private company under a bill on the way to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, creating the second privately owned and operated correctional institution in the state.

The legislation approved last month authorizes Ohio to put North Central Correctional Institution in Marion up for sale on the condition it's still run as a prison.

The sale will allow the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to put the proceeds toward programs that provide an alternative to housing offenders in prisons, said agency spokeswoman JoEllen Smith.

The facility is currently state-owned but operated by Utah-based private prison company Management and Training Corp.

A second prison, Lake Erie Correctional Institution in Conneaut, is owned and operated by Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America.