Skip to comments.Cutting Librarians and Therapists Would Save Prisons Millions
Posted on 04/04/2012 11:52:39 AM PDT by MichCapCon
Shhh . . . keep it down.
A Michigan Senate committee has identified $5.6 million the state could save by cutting prison library staff.
We found that some prisons have up to four library staff members, said Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Department of Corrections. Overall, our budget would cut 52 library staff members from the state's prisons. That would bring a savings of $5.6 million.
That $5.6 million represents only a fraction of the savings the subcommittee identified. On March 28, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 2013 budget that sliced $72.5 million from Gov. Rick Snyder's budget recommendation.
In addition to cutting prison library staffs, the committee found that $1.4 million in potential savings could be realized by eliminating music therapists and recreational therapists from prison budgets.
There's just no way we can justify funding those positions, Sen. Proos said, referring to the music and recreational therapists. Prisons need to do more with less, just like the private sector does; and frankly, like most of our schools are doing.
The highlight of the legislation (Senate Bill 0951) are $58.7 million in savings from reducing facility-level noncustodial (not involved with keeping prisoners in custody) staff by 580.
The largest portion of the $58.7 million in savings would be $32.1 million through elimination of 300 assistant resident unit supervisors. According to the findings of the committee, Michigan's prisons have adequate management personnel without the added layer these supervisors represent.
In addition to eliminating the assistant supervisors and librarians, other cost-saving cutbacks in the measure include:
Limiting each prison warden office to just one secretary $12 million in savings Limiting each prison to just one word processing expert $2.5 million in savings Limiting each prison to just one deputy warden $3.1 million in savings Limiting prisons to just one corrections inspector $1.4 million
Michigans prison populations have decreased by 8,000 in five years and we have closed 14 facilities, yet corrections still employs one-third of all state employees and their costs keep going up, Sen. Proos said. This budget is a step toward bringing Michigans costs in line with surrounding states. We have reduced unnecessary administration like multiple secretaries and word processing assistants, and we have been innovative enough to ensure taxpayers are getting the most value for their dollar.
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Personally I think decent reading for inmates is a good thing but that doesn’t really require a librarian.
So each librarian they have in the prison system is costing them $108,000 per year. WTF?
I know an inmate in prison in IL for many years. I don’t think they have librarians. I think some of the inmates can volunteer to work in the libraries. Probably a coordinator person who spends an hour a month on it would be all the “payroll” involved to the state.
And I agree that having decent reading materials that are available in an organized manner is a good thing for prisoners. As my kids went through college, any textbooks they could not sell back were donated to the prison.
Are they trying to make Judge Giddings cry? Take out the TV,s too. Play Barry Manilow msic 16 hours a day
They probably only need one book - the Bible. And they should get paroled based on how much of it they’ve memorized.
I’m not really all that religious myself, but people who think of others as prey need to have some quality time thinking about morality, honesty, kindness, integrity & other spiritual values.
I would definitely limit their choices to the bible and other things that positively reinforce honesty, morality, kindness etc.
What are librarians and “recreational therapists” doing in the prisons anyway? Prison is a place where we punsih criminals. It should be as unpleasant as we can possibly make it. Cut all that junk out. The prisoners shouldn’t even be out of their cells until their sentence is up.
Alternately put a wall around dearborn and release all violent inmates into that enclosure. Arm them with a shotgun and a sidearm and let them do whatever they want. But shoot them on sight if they approach the wall.
Let the moslems and the prisoners kill each other off. Everyone wins.
We need to run our prisons like they do in Japan.
I ran a prison library for 6 years. I always figured if I was doing my job right, the inmates would stay out of trouble. For the most part, I was right. I also ran the court ordered Legal Library we had. Federal court said we had to have it. It did not say I would be a Lawyer, and, I wasn’t.
Anyway, while I was there, the state of Tennessee cut programs like Michigan is talking about. They ended up saving some staff money because by the end of the first year of the program, almost all the prisons in the system had been damaged by riots.
Now, I am not saying that prison life should be like ‘Club Fed’ or anything, but, you do have to keep the inmates distracted with something, just to keep them out of trouble. Libraries are a rather cheap way of doing that.
Then again, I wouldn’t mind finding one of those $100,000 librarian jobs myself.