Legal changes aimed at shrinking the number of state prisoners are working, but at a slower pace than anticipated.
House Bill 86, which revised the state's sentencing laws was implemented in October. Since then the state's prison population has shrunk by about 1,400 fewer prisoners to about 49,900 inmates. That's the lowest level since 2008.
Prison officials are crediting the revised sentencing laws for the reduction. New sentencing standards redirect hundreds of offenders to community programs instead of prisons. That's helping with overcrowding and state budgets, but it's putting a strain on local programs.
The director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections says he's not yet satisfied with the reduction. He had hoped to have hundreds fewer inmates by July.