Last week in South Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office sent a letter to judges and attorneys stating that inmates would no longer have access to substance abuse treatment, anger management, computer skills, and other training programs due to budget cuts. These programs are commonly used in Broward County for drug possession cases, domestic violence battery cases, felony battery cases and violation of probation cases.
Those programs will end by August 1, saving around $2.2 million. Broward County officials asked the Department of Community Control to reduce its budget by $50 million for the fiscal year starting October 1.
More than a fifth of Broward County’s jail population used those programs, and some inmates got reduced jail sentences after completing treatment programs for drug abuse. While some inmates will still be able to participate in voluntary programs like Alcoholics Anonymous, reduced sentences will no longer be an option, which some worry could lead to overcrowding. Broward County is already under court order to avoid overcrowding in its prisons.
Broward sheriff wants to end inmate treatment programs to save money, South Florida Sun Sentinel, May 14, 2009.
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