Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Inmate Population Growing...Money for DOC is Not! Mitch's solution...SHUFFLE THE DECK CHAIRS
OK...so that headline is a little sensational, but the flatlining (net budget cut) of the Department of Correction's budget raises concerns when one of our state's maximum security prisons has been breached by three inmates. Two of them remain on the lam after Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's security detail captured one of the escapees near the Mayor's Michigan summer home. They escaped this past weekend from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.
Last week, we also learned that Governor Daniels and the state want to play prison musical cells with inmates by moving them around to different facilities (as if that will solve the prison bed shortage crisis). Eastside neighborhood activists like "Friend of the Blog" Zach Adamson are fighting this move by the state which would move out women from the Indiana Women's Prison on Randolph Street and replace them with a male re-entry program at that facility. The fight is chronicled in this article from the Indy Star. The decision had been made to make the changes, and none of the neighborhood groups were apparently contacted about the decision.
All of is mess is definitely scary in the light of the prison break in Michigan City. It also again shows why it's so difficult to understand DOC budget flatline (net cut). Don't forget that the prison riot at the privately-run medium to minimum security New Castle Correctional Facility happened under this Administration's watch.
The problem is our state's prisons are at 99 percent capacity. You wonder if something else other than moving people around is perhaps the right answer. Indiana has somewhere near 27,000 inmates according to the Columbus Republic, and the paper reports that number increases by four percent each year. If that number is correct, there will be over 1,075 more incarcerated individuals entering the system.
Yet, state officials have pushed for budget flatlining (cuts) in the DOC. It kind of makes sense why folks on the Eastside like Zach Adamson are a little skeptical about Mitch Daniels' DOC's plan to move inmates around. When is it a rainy day so we can dip into that $1 billion surplus?
The shuffle of inmates will also shuffle the staff of the facilities moving jobs...for example...from Brownsburg to MADISON! Perhaps another way to cut costs?
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