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State Corrections Dept and Budget Cuts
State Corrections Dept and Budget Cuts

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AIR DATE: July 30, 2010

How does the State Corrections Department deal with budget cuts. Furloughs for guards might mean furloughs for prisoners as well. Not so far but there is a running battle between the department and the governor who want to close the state prison in Carson City and the Attorney General and Secretary of State who insist that it should stay open. And the recent lockdown at Clark County Prison has the guards association complaining that the state's prisons are dangerously understaffed. We talk with the Director of the Corrections Department Howard Skolnik about how the prisons are operating with a shrinking budget.

GUEST
Howard Skolnik, Director Nevada Department of Corrections
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    COMMENTS:
    The system is broken.

    Yes, legislators will surely pass SB398 this session.

    Prisoner health is OK now at Ely? In NDOC? Read these reports:

    http://health.nv.gov/Deficiencies_Qry.asp

    More reports posting soon.

    These deficiency reports speak of the need for outside oversight. Yet, NV officials resist even the thought of having prison ombudsmen.

    It is difficult reading to realize that third world health conditions like these exist in the USA. We don't need individuals exiting NV prisons bringing diseases with them that could have been cared for, cured.

    The suicides alone show lack of mental health care. Officials have stopped releasing the death list. I wonder why. Taxpayers deserve to know who is dying and why. What are they hiding?

    To read the full Ely medical settlement to understand the reality of this situation, go to this link:

    http://www.aclu.org/prisoners-rights/riker-v-gibbons-settlement

    The time is long overdue for restructuring the Nevada prison system.

    Prisoners are people. Many are innocent, as the Innocence Project article in Time magazine recently pointed out.

    May God have mercy on us all for allowing this system to continue.

    Mercedes Maharis MA MS MAJul 28, 2010 14:25:01 PM
    In 2009, he State of Nevada had the chance to save tens of millions of dollars, if they has passed Nevada Senate Bill 398 for Intermediate Sanctions.

    SB 398 would have saved an estimated $31 million by diverting 300-400 selected nonviolent drug offenders into treatment instead of prison.

    The SAGE Commission listed SB398 as one piece of legislation worth passing, and gave savings estimates in the hundreds of millions of dollars. SB 398 is Item #31 in the SAGE Commission Report.

    PLAN also favors SB 398.

    So why won't Rory Reid or Brian Sandoval stand in favor of a bill that will save tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars, by being smart on crime?

    http://www.leg.state.nv.us/Session/75th2009/Minutes/Senate/FIN/Final/891.pdf

    http://www.sagenevada.org/uploads/0000/0043/SAGE_5th_Report_to_Governor_9.30.09.pdf

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2010/03/21/swift_and_sure/

    Dahn Shaulis, Ph.D.

    Dahn ShaulisJul 27, 2010 13:54:06 PM
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