Union protesters to picket over sale of Ohio prison farms

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s largest prison workers’ union is planning a series of pickets against the announced shutdown of the state prison farms program.

The Ohio Civil Service Employees Association, whose members include farm program coordinators, says the protests will begin with a cattle auction Monday at Marion Correctional Institution.

Additional pickets are scheduled this month in Pickaway, Chillicothe (chihl-ih-KAHTH’-ee), London and Lebanon.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction announced last month that it’s shutting down its prison farms to raise millions of dollars to fund new rehabilitation and job training programs for inmates.

The state said it would continue farming this year but would prepare to auction off livestock and stop farming by 2017.

The union says has sought an injunction to halt the process. A hearing is scheduled for May 27.