States Seek Alternative Methods to Cut Prison Costs

Washington – In response to steadily decreasing revenue and budgets, states across the nation are seeking new, alternative ways to cut costs. Proposed solutions: Squeeze savings out of the state prisons.

In Washington, state prisons will go on lock-down one day per month, confining inmates to cells and adjacent living areas. This solution allows prisons to cut back on resources and allows wardens to send some staff members home without pay. Trial tests of the lock-downs/furloughs were executed in November with success, prompting the full implementation of the program one day per month from January to June 2011. Projected savings equal approximately $1 million.

“It’s working as designed,” said Dan Pacholke, deputy director of prisons at the Washington State Department of Corrections in Olympia.

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