Del. Dept. of Corrections Seeks Additional Funding - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Dept. of Corrections Seeks Additional Funding

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DOVER, DE – Department of Correction Commissioner Robert Coupe and his senior leadership today proposed an operating budget for the next fiscal year that seeks modest increases in funding to secure staff training and equipment, invests in programs that reduce recidivism, and meets increased expenses in caring for offenders.  During the Department's annual budget presentation to the Office of Management and Budget, the Commissioner asked that funding for these new resources be included in the Governor's recommended Fiscal Year 2016 budget.  The Governor recommends a budget to the General Assembly early each calendar year and the new budget year begins annually on July 1.

“We are mindful that with limited resources available to fund the critical functions of State government we all must do more with less and must be innovative in reducing expenditures wherever possible,” Coupe said.  “One way we reduce our burden on taxpayers is by employing offenders to complete tasks throughout our facilities, at an estimated savings of $16 million this past year alone.  However, even as we employ belt-tightening measures, we are faced with added expenses in maintaining the necessary level of care to offenders and in meeting the training and security needs of our staff.”

The Commissioner requested an increase of 3.6% over the current Fiscal Year's $277 million operating budget for Fiscal Year 2016 to support the Department's most critical needs, including:

·         $5.9 million to meet additional offender healthcare costs

·         $321,000 to cover increased food costs for inmates

·         $300,000 to purchase ammunition and accessories for the Department's transition to .40 caliber pistols

·         $107,000 to purchase ballistic vests for officers assigned to inmate Court & Transportation functions

·         $241,000 to purchase Tasers for Probation and Parole Officers

·         $279,000 to upgrade the security camera system at the Plummer Community Corrections Center and Central Violation of Probation Center

·         $100,000 to secure career training services for offenders to support their reentry into the community and reduce recidivism

·         $148,000 to fund an employee drug testing program, conduct pre-employment psychological exams for Correctional Officer candidates, and implement pre-employment physical exams and health and fitness assessments for Correctional Officer and Probation and Parole Officer candidates.

·         $175,000 to cover annual maintenance costs associated with inmate Electronic Health Record

·         $210,000 to secure 83 transdermal alcohol monitoring devices to support the CCP DUI Court pilot program.

“My team and I have worked hard to prioritize our most urgent funding needs that have the most direct impact on the safety and security of our staff and the community, coupled with a modest investment in programs that will reduce recidivism and, therefore, lower the long term costs of incarcerating and supervising offenders,” Commissioner Coupe said. 
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