JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi sheriffs are reacting with anger and puzzlement at Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher’s decision to abolish a program that sends some inmates to county jails.
Fisher says he can save $3.2 million by moving the 675 inmates currently in the Joint State County Work Program into the department’s own community work centers. The programs will end Aug. 1.
Inmates at the county programs perform unpaid labor for county governments, like working on garbage trucks, picking up roadside litter or cleaning county buildings. Fisher says inmates can keep doing work for counties, but sheriffs question whether that will be possible because some counties with work programs are distant from state work centers.
Sheriffs also question whether the state will save money, noting they are paid only $20 a day per inmate.
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