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State Prison Inspection Committee Short Staffed

prison bars
Michael Coghlan
Flickr Creative Commons

 The legislative watchdog evaluating Ohio's prisons is so short-staffed that unpaid interns are working on inspections.

The Plain Dealer in Cleveland reports the Correctional Institution Inspection Committee's administrative staff shrunk over the past five years, from a handful of inspectors with criminal-justice backgrounds to a single full-time employee in recent months.

Critics say the depleted staffing raises concerns about oversight by the committee, which inspects 30 state correctional facilities and reports on issues affecting inmates, such as prison conditions, health care and use of force.

A prisons spokeswoman wouldn't comment. She referred questions to the panel's interim chairman, Republican state Rep. Doug Green, of Mount Orab.

Green says inspection reports are up to date but calls the staffing troubling and says it's unrealistic to keep getting by with one employee.

Stories from the Associated Press.