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Archive for September, 2010

Saving Tip #4: Weigh the Costs of Building New and Reusing What You Already Have

September 8th, 2010

$169.4 million for a new facility is a scary number for operators just trying to survive budget and funding cuts. But when comparing that number to the potential operations savings over a period of time, that number becomes more feasible.

For instance, Pennsylvania, when faced with the option of building a new, larger facility or continuing operations at two existing facilities, realized where real savings would come from. Feasibility studies showed that over thirty years the single, larger facility could operate at $22 million less than the operations cost of two older facilities. The larger facility would also be able to house 367 more inmates.

An Oklahoma jail, when forced to either repair facility inadequacies or have the federal government step in to force funding for a new facility, compared the price of building new to the price of updates needed. Oklahoma was shown that the costs of remodeling and building new were practically identical when considering annual operating costs for the new facility.

In some cases, building new is simply not an option. To overcome this, analyze how space is used in comparison to space requirements. There are facilities that can optimize their space to house hundreds of more inmates without having to build new housing units.

For more cost-saving ideas, download our free eBook: So You Don’t Have a Rich Uncle: 9 Fresh Tactics That Combat Funding Shortages.

OR read how corrections professionals are helping their facilities save money here >

mwentworth Uncategorized

Saving Tip #3: Avoid Lawsuits

September 3rd, 2010

In California, Lawrence Bittaker sued the state because his cookie was broken. As one of the 40 lawsuits the death row inmate filed, the suit cost the state $4,500 before a judge tossed it out two years later. In a similar situation, Kevin Howard sued the state because he believed his thoughts were broadcasted on prison loudspeakers. His case cost the state $18,500.

While these frivolous cases are hard to avoid without legislative oversight; however, reducing overcrowding, which spurs conflicts, prevents effective medical care and diminishes the ability to meet basics, will avoid millions of dollars in lawsuits each year. During the time of the Chino prison riot in August of 2009, the facility was nearly 50 percent over capacity. A man incarcerated in the Chino Institute of Men, Calif., wrote an anonymous letter describing his treatment after the riot. Identified as inmate 1081, he wrote, “My story is just as drastic as the others. Three nights in a cage with 10 other men. And no water, no restroom facilities. I have kidney problems. It was torture for me.”

Prison conditions is another common type of lawsuit that can be avoided with proper upkeep of facilities. California alone paid $108 million for experts and lawyers for inmates in 12 major lawsuits over a 12-year period. This amount doesn’t include the state’s own legal costs, $24 million, or the amount needed to fix problems that led the class-action suits.

Get more money saving tips. Download our free eBook: So You Don’t Have a Rich Uncle: 9 Fresh Tactics That Combat Funding Shortages.

mwentworth Uncategorized

Saving Tip #2: Shop Around For the Best Price

September 1st, 2010

Compare products side by side with these corrections resource guides

Much like shopping for airfare or a vehicle, shop around for the best prices on everything needed to run your prison or jail. From blankets to body armor and inmate orientation videos, sites such as, and are great resources when seeking the best-priced products. Their product sections allow you to compare several viable options side by side.

Here are our reviews of these sites:

  • ACA’s Marketplace is very easy to use and has complete information.
  • is very helpful, not only with products but with additional information around how those products are used.
  • offers a wide variety of products.

Upcoming cost-saving topics include:

  • #3: Avoid lawsuits
  • #4: Weigh the costs of building new and reusing what you already have

mwentworth Uncategorized