MDOC Closing Joint State County Worker Program

The Mississippi Department of Corrections says that it can save money by closing the Joint State County Worker Program, but counties say it could cost them thousands.
The decision to end the Joint State County Worker Program will affect about 30 counties state wide. Although the worse seems to be north of here, there are some local departments who rely on those workers. “We usually have one to three state inmates per day, they’ll usually be weed eating, picking up trash, and things of this nature along the beach,” said Chuck Loftis, Director, Sand Beach Authority.
Sheriff Melvin Brisolara says the county employs between 80 to 100 inmates at any given time, but used to average around 140, save more taxpayer money with the larger work force. Of the 30 counties affected, it seems the impact to Harrison and Jackson County will be minimal. While the decision to recall state workers doesn’t really affect Harrison County right now, if that were to change by having to pay someone else to do these jobs could cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars. “About $340,000 a year is the labor cost we have to expend to have the same service for the citizens of Harrison County,” said Connie Rockco, District Five Supervisor President. The Commissioner of Corrections is still working on the details of the plan, so until then, some department heads are learning to do more with less, should the worst happen.
While coastal counties are expecting minimal losses, rural areas like Stone County could see significant losses, possibly leading to higher taxes.

Categories: Local News, News, Stone County