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MDOC deals with budget problems


The Associated Press



JACKSON -- The Mississippi Department of Corrections may delay some renovation projects and counties may not get paid for housing some parole and probation violators until MDOC can transport them back to prison as the agency deals with continuing funding problems. 


Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps tells The Clarion-Ledger that he expects MDOC to end the last three months of this fiscal year with a deficit approaching $6 million. 


The Legislature approved roughly $23.9 million in a deficit appropriation for MDOC. Epps says he needed $29.5 million. 


Epps says he'll delay include replacing the call light system at the disabled prison unit at the State Penitentiary at Parchman and replacing the kitchen floors at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Pearl and the South Mississippi Correctional Institution in Leakesville. 


Epps says he asked for $344 million for the fiscal year that beings July 1 but lawmakers appropriated $337 million. 


Epps says the budget figures do not take into account the expected growth of 540 inmates for the 2014 fiscal year. 


"We are going to do our best with what we received," Epps said. 


Epps said he will look at closing some inmate works centers, where inmates provide free labor for local governments and public service projects. Also, he will review vendors' contracts looking for ways to save on costs.




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