CL EDITORIAL: MDOC should not end county program just yet: Our View

The decision to end the Joint State County Work Programs and move nearly 700 state inmates from 30 county jails to 17 state-run Community Work Centers is going to have serious negative impacts throughout rural Mississippi, and it could end up costing some taxpayers a lot more than it will save the state.

Corrections Commissioner Marshall Fisher announced the decision Thursday in a letter to sheriffs. He told The Clarion-Ledger the move will save the state $3.2 million. Fisher said a declining inmate population coupled with the Legislature’s decision to underfund the agency $23 million less than lawmakers’ own legislative budget recommendation are forcing him to make touch financial decisions.

But Fisher also admitted in his letter to sheriffs that he would have made the decision regardless of fiscal realities.