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Commissioner Letter to President of MS Sheriffs Association re new appointment, MDOC, 2015

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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.



PHONE: (601)359-5600 · FAX: (601) 359-5624



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