Magazine article Corrections Forum

Editor's Page

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Editor's Page

Article excerpt

The Los Angeles County Jail has the biggest inmate population of any county in the U.S. Like many of their counterparts, they are in the throes of a budgetary crisis that is forcing them to cut jobs and correspondingly reduce inmate populations.

Bigger, of course, doesn't necessarily mean better.

Contributing editor/reporter Keith Strandberg goes to the jail to speak with the men and women running various jail programs to discover their challenges, and how they plan to overcome them.

What he finds are innovations in the delivery of psychotropic drugs that are expected to save $1.5M, efficiencies in food operations that deliver 50,000+ meals per day, and professionalism in rehab programs that are expected to address the 50% to 70% recidivism rate. Even with its challenges, its culture of teamwork and a dedication to its programs and services, provide concepts from which readers can learn.

Tight fiscal constraints in many jurisdictions have been delaying construction, potentially causing dangerous overcrowding, a topic addressed in "Budget Planning for Construction" on page 26. What some fail to realize is that 90% of a construction budget should be earmarked for long-term operations and only 10% for construction/ design. Detailed, long-term planning for utlities, staff salaries and expansion is key to avoid shortfalls down the road. One industry player warns correctional managers not "to reinvent the wheel or reinvent someone else's mistake. …

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