ID prison chief says more cuts will slam prisons




BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Idaho's prisons director fears more budget
cuts will jeopardize safety in prisons.

Department of Correction chief Brent Reinke told the
Legislature's budget committee Friday the state's prisons are
already severely understaffed.

He says the department will maintain furloughs and cuts already
in place, but that doing even more would put the prisons at risk.

He told the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee, ``We are
on the edge.''

So far this year, employees at the agency have taken about
80,000 unpaid furlough hours, helping to reduce layoffs by an
equivalent of 49 jobs. But the agency has cut 44 positions so far
in fiscal year 2010.

About 21,000 offenders are currently serving time in the
department's facilities or being overseen by probation and parole
officers, a system Reinke says is already among the most
cost-effective in the nation.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-02-05-10 1048MST<

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