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Ohio prison population continues to rise

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Officials say Ohio's prison population is expected to keep rising, despite recent attempts to tamp it down.

Ohio's prisons house 50,639 people, and the latest two-year state budget allocated $3.14 billion to run the system.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/RAg2Ar ) reports that the latest projections say the inmate population in 27 prisons will hit 52,000 in two years, and 53,484 in five years.

Prisons already are housing 30?percent more prisoners than they were designed to hold.

The population has continued to rise despite reforms in recent years such as early-release provisions and enhanced community programs.

Prisons director Gary Mohr says he's optimistic the state can get prison population growth under control. Each prisoner in the system costs Ohio taxpayers $22,836 per year.

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