Thursday, August 13, 2009

Update on Vera Report

I have just received word from the Vera Institute with an update of their report, which was released July 29 in light of new information about the influence of stimulus funds in a number of states and new budget information from four additional states.

The revised report, which is based on survey responses from 37 states, finds at least 26 states have reversed the trend of recent decades and cut corrections spending. In three states-Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota-officials reduced initial general fund appropriations knowing that a portion of the reduction would be made up by federal stimulus funds. Thus, although general fund appropriations decreased by double-digits in these states, the actual operational impacts were smaller.

Other updated findings include:

  • At least 31 states are reducing staff, instituting hiring freezes, reducing salaries or benefits, and/or eliminating pay increases.
  • At least 22 states are closing facilities or reducing beds, or delaying expansion or construction of new facilities.

The Fiscal Crisis in Corrections: Rethinking Policies and Practices was funded by the Public Safety Performance Project of the Pew Center on the States.

Download the revised report here.

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