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Prevent Overcrowding and Save Money on Staff

August 17th, 2010

Cutting programs and trimming staff that only leaves the needed few to deal with a swelled inmate population is a one-sided solution. While cost is saved on the staffing line item, other line items such as facility repair and worker’s compensation are slammed with more cost.

Overcrowded conditions stands as the cause of nearly every prison riot. The riot in Chino, Calif., fueled by overcrowding issues, has many corrections professionals predicting that more U.S. prisons are ticking time bombs. Overcrowding prevents the basic needs of inmates being fulfilled and requires inmates to be locked up with nothing to do- increasing their resentment toward the facility and staff.

Prevent overcrowding by:

o Outsourcing to a private operator: Many states have opted to outsource prison operations, because it is a cost-saving measure. For instance, Alaska houses inmates at a privately run facility in Hudson, Colo. Check out our blog on how to outsource prison operations.

o Contracting housing from county jails and other state penitentiaries: While your facility may be filled, the next county or state may have room you can contract out. Make sure you have a thorough contract to protect you from any legal issues that may arise, however.

o Start alternative housing for inmates who can work: Dauphin County, P.A., saves taxpayers huge money with their work-release center. Inmates housed at the center pay rent, pay for their food and medical treatment and take care of the facility. Not only is the work center saving money, but it provides an alternative to simply housing inmates at the overcrowded county prison on East King Street.

For more sustainable ways to reduce the costs of staff, receive our free guide, “How to Lower Costs Without Putting Staff at Higher Risk.”

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