Legislators weighing ideas to cut prison budget

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(Host) Legislators will consider a range of ideas for reducing spending on prisons when they return to the Statehouse next month.

The Corrections Department has prepared a report that offers some options for cutting four million dollars from its budget.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Sears says something needs to be done because the Corrections Department has grown so much.

He says if nothing is done in the coming year, the department will need an additional $13 million.

(Sears) “Those are monies that you can’t spend on college, you can’t spend on health care, you can’t spend on a number of other areas that I’m sure the Legislature and the public would rather spend money on.”

(Host) The department has suggested that closing a prison is one way to save money.

But it also says the state could use electronic monitoring for released inmates, or it could change some of its parole regulations and staffing.

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