Commissioner Letter to President of MS Sheriffs Association re new appointment, MDOC, 2015
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STATE OF MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS MARSHALL FISHER, COMMISSIONER April 30, 2015 Mississippi Sheriffs Association President/Sheriff Harold Jones P.O. Box 547 Hazlehurst, MS 39083 Dear Sheriff Jones: As many of you are aware, I was appointed by Gov. Phil Bryant as Commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Corrections ("MDOC") in January ofthis year pursuant to circumstances that occurred last fall. I was designated to clean up an agency that currently has an extremely negative public perception. The mere existence of"corrections" is in itself negative to most, and it is my hope to change that perception under my administration. My tenure began on the eve of the legislative session. At the conclusion of the session, MDOC's 2016 budget approved by the legislature is approximately $23 million less than requested. As a result of the reduction of the budget, my executive staff was directed to analyze and identify the need for fiscal changes to wisely and efficiently use our funds. Our analysis revealed MDOC is not maximizing use of the MDOC Community Work Centers ("CWCs"). It has come to my attention that the CWCs are not at full capacity with inmates. As a result, there is unused capacity at each of the CWCs that needs to be utilized to obtain maximum efficiency. In that regard, we have determined that moving inmates from the Joint State County Work Programs ("JSCWP") to the CWCs would be much more cost effective for MDOC, and will ultimately allow MDOC to redirect $3.2 million for other budgetary needs. One of my most significant duties is to be a good steward of taxpayers' money. As such, had the legislature seen fit to appropriate MDOC' s full request and added $10 million in discretionary funds, we would still propose eliminating the JSCWP as it is simply not an efficient use oftaxpayers' money, with public safety being of utmost concern. Planned closure of the JSCWP is one ofmany changes to come under my administration. The process will begin Aug. 1. We expect more hard decisions in the future, and we will continue to look for ways to effectively and efficiently manage this agency. The old way of doing business is no longer a viable option. Sincerely, ..., ./? "t:l�rr633 NORTH STATE STREET· JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI 39202 PHONE: (601)359-5600 · FAX: (601) 359-5624