|Department of Corrections downsizing drug treatment beds, unspecified increase in community services|
|By thesalemnewsonline.com- Erin Harrell|
In a letter distributed to local judges from the Department of Corrections (DOC), director Anne Precythe announced that in an effort to curtail state prison population growth, funding will be rediverted to community-based drug recovery support services that “provide an alternative to costly incarceration and is more effective in delivering improved outcomes for offenders.”
“This is going to affect us,” said Dent County Prosecutor Andrew Curley. “A lot has changed in the eight years since I came back. We see a lot less recommendations from Probation and Parole for incarceration, especially in drug-related cases. In addition, now we have the Department of Corrections reducing their institutional treatment function, which will even further reduce available treatment options.”
Under current population trends, DOC will be more than 2,300 prison beds short of needed capacity by the end of fiscal year 2021. Precythe stated that this would necessitate the construction of two new prisons. This reinvestment of funding would, as Precythe states, potentially avoid expenditures of over $400 million.
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