Thursday, July 30, 2015

Counties agree to use MDOC prisoners without pay

The Mississippi Department of Corrections issued the following press release:

Counties Agree to Keep State Inmates in Work Program without Payment
JACKSON - More than a dozen counties have agreed to continue using state inmates in a work program without reimbursement from the Mississippi Department of Corrections.
The department plans to phase out the current Joint State County Work Program starting Saturday.
In addition to following MDOC’s rules and regulations and no longer receiving $20 per day per offender, each county also must provide alcohol and drug treatment and GED programs to all inmates in the program at the county’s expense. MDOC still will provide and pay for medical care for inmates.
Currently, sheriffs in 14 counties have signed a memorandum of understanding. The counties are Carroll, Chickasaw, Clay, Jefferson, Lauderdale, Lincoln, Monroe, Montgomery, Pearl River, Scott, Simpson, Stone, Tate and Union.  A total of 30 counties participated in the JSCWP.
Sheriffs who have signed the agreement want additional offenders. However, because of fewer eligible inmates, MDOC can’t quickly grant the requests.
Inmates in counties without agreements will be moved to the state’s community work centers.
“We are no longer operating as status quo,” Commissioner Marshall Fisher said. “Detractors should anticipate a different way of doing business at MDOC.”
Ending the current program allows MDOC to redirect $3.2 million to other budgetary needs.
Fisher, in his first year as commissioner, plans to make more changes as he assesses the agency’s operations. “We are in the initial throes of a sea change,” he said.  “If the current trend of having fewer inmates incarcerated and more on community supervision continues, we must rethink how we are using taxpayer’s money.”

Kingfish note: Hinds did not agree to the new guidelines.


Strother Martin said...

It makes no sense at all for a county or municipality to be required to pay for or offer additional services to inmates who are benefiting from their labor by reduction of their sentence. If this is Marshal Fisher's notion of common sense, fire his ass.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, as to your footnote, I don't know why Hinds or any OTHER county would agree to that.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, as to your footnote, I don't know why Hinds or any OTHER county would agree to that.

Because some counties have become addicted to the cheap labor. They'll have to cough up far less $$$ to keep the inmates for free and face far less hell from their constituents than they will without them.

Anonymous said...

When you have a gun pointed at your head, you have little choice. You can bet there will be a lot of pressure on the legislature and the Governor to institute changes during the next legislative session.

Anonymous said...

Why does the State of Mississippi contract out the grass cutting (bush hogging) on Interstates and highways when there are so many talented inmates that could be performing this work?
How much money does the State of Mississippi pay for air conditioning buildings that house inmates when our soldiers are living in tents in the Arab desert?
I can remember when the thought of being in jail or the State Pen was a deterrent to criminal activity, now, going to jail is an alternative lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

Why is this an issue? The inmates just be out working clearing ditches, paving roads, and working on a farm. And they should not get paid one single cent for it, nor should time be reduced from the sentence. Damn liberals were even able to make prison time a walk in the park.

Anonymous said...

There will be zero savings to the taxpayers as a result of Commissioner Fisher's new policy. The costs are only shifted to the local governments. The local governments who accepted his "take it or leave it deal" had no real choice. They could not afford to hire employees to replace the inmate workers without a significant tax increase. The loss of the $20.00 per day reimbursement for housing State inmates and any new costs associated with Drug, Alcohol and GED training will have to be accounted for in the new local government budgets which will be adopted in September. Any reduction in cost to the State will result in increased tax burden for the local taxpayer. Zero Savings! Bait and Switch!!
In addition, the decision to end the Joint State County Inmate Work program was announced in late April, after the legislature closed the Legislative Session, which left the local governments without any way to defend themselves. The legislature provided funding for this program in the appropriations bill for MDOC. This appropriation should now be returned to the State General Fund at the end of the Fiscal Year, but the MDOC Commissioner will want to amend his appropriation to use it elsewhere.
Talk about Unfunded Mandates! Republican Legislators claim to be against Unfunded Mandates. How about Sirs?

Anonymous said...

4:18 maybe give Hannity a rest for a bit. The inmates don't get paid. The counties get $20 a day per inmate. Not everything is the libruls fault.

We have Kingfish and We have King Fisher said...

As was suggested above, Fisher's unbridled arrogance will be reeled in by the legislature, come January. The man has a cushy retirement and now has the perks and stature given to him by Bryant. That, along with his attitude and personality equal the recipe for disaster for Mississippi. He might have been fine for a one month stay in the position.

Anonymous said...



The inmates are paid for their labor and/or receive reduced sentences.

Inmates Working Keeps Taxes Lower said...

Counties have not become addicted to cheap labor. County leaders have become addicted to the notion of not raising taxes and lazy ass inmates doing a little honest work is just one way to keep taxes a bit lower than would otherwise be necessary.

So, Marshal Fisher can just keep them on cots, in air conditioned cells, planning disturbances or down in the library researching appeals and such.

Anonymous said...

10:49: Amen Brother! Local Government Leaders do their best to keep taxes down and they have no one below them to pass the buck. State Inmates should all work every day. Our prison system should not be a "home away from home" for prisoners. We should encourage them to not return to jail. Mr. Fisher's actions for this program make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Credit Where It's Due said...

We can thank the one-armed bandit, Judge Keady from Greenville, who, while alive, is the culprit who forever ensured these people a life of leisure inside the pen. And co-conspirators like Rims Barber who constantly chirped about mistreatment and a need to make life more comfortable for criminals.

What Bill Minor and that red-headed story righter are to civil rights, Keady and Barber were to the fate of prison life.

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