Thursday, August 13, 2015

Winston Joins Other Counties in MDOC Joint State/County Inmate Program

Winston County Supervisors recently agreed to participate in the new joint state county work program. The county is 1 of 26 who have agreed with the new terms of the program.

Earlier this year the Mississippi Department of Corrections attempted to eliminate the program as a cost saving method due to a drop in inmate population.  Because a number of counties have used eligible inmates for labor such trash pick-up (as is the case in Winston County) the negative financial impact would have been significant. After further discussion the MDOC agreed to reinstate the program with some changes including no longer paying the counties for the upkeep of the inmates.

Under the new agreement, counties must provide certain programs such as drug and alcohol treatment and GED programs at their own expense and counties would no longer receive a $20/day reimbursement for each eligible inmate. It should be noted that MDOC will still pay for medical care of inmates.

Even with the signed agreement,there is no guarantee as to the future of this program.   Said Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher " I caution all parties that this program may need to be revisited because if the inmate population continues to drop as we see the full effects of House Bill 585, the  number of eligible inmates from this program will also drop."