October 30, 2013 9:54:45 AM
JACKSON -- Unless something changes, members of a state task force were told the $361 million taxpayers are spending this year on prisons is projected to grow by $266 million over the next decade.
The Corrections and Criminal Justice Task Force is studying an overhaul of the state's corrections system in an effort to protect public safety and cut ballooning costs. The Clarion-Ledger reports the group met Tuesday.
Department of Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps chairs the task force, which will conclude its work in December and make a report to the 2014 Legislature that convenes in January. Epps cited the figure of $266 million for 2,000 additional beds over the next decade if the number of inmates in custody continues to grow. There are roughly 22,000 inmates in the custody of MDOC now.