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State Budget Cuts and Correctional Recreation

In early 2002 many states faced serious budget shortfalls. Some have already cut their corrections budgets and others are considering doing the same. Correctional recreation personnel reductions have been targeted in some states. We presented a paper on the current situation March 16, 2002 at the 2002 National Correctional Recreation Association annual conference.

The paper covers the status of state budget shortfalls, actions being taken by several states, benefits of correctional recreation and other reference materials. It also suggests some guidelines for those making decisions and materials to stimulate discussions.

  • State Budget Shortfalls Impact Correctional Recreation: The View from Both Sides

    Downloadable viewer for .pdf Adobe Acrobat documents.
    This page will soon include links to several reference materials, input from conference attendees and others on the issues and will serve as an online portal for this issue.

    If you have any information concerning recreation cuts or information you would like to share, please contact us.

  • News and Events Since the Paper was Presented

  • Corrections seeks additional $39.7 million funding
    Associated Press - Oklahoma City
    March 15, 2002
    Oklahoma Dept. of Corrections needs an additional $39.7 million to pay bills for the rest of the fiscal year. It will run short of money next month without additional appropriations per corrections officials. The funding request includes $22.6 million for prisoners housed in private prisons or other correctional facilities. State operated correctional facilities are running at 98 percent occupancy. If no funds are appropriated by the end of March, "the department will begin to receive bills for goods and services that cannot be paid."

  • Budgetary Concerns Within States May Not End Reforms
    Jody R. Weedon (ACA Legislative Liaison)
    On the Line (OTL)
    American Correctional Association
    Vol. 25. No. 2. March 2002.
    The article points out many state legislatures enacted correctional reforms in 2001. It cites some of the same sources we used in discussing the current state budget shortfalls and identifies seven states (Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska) that convened special legislative sessions to deal with budget problems. "The bloodletting is expected to intensify as governors and lawmakers begin drafting austerity budgets for the next fiscal year."

    Mr. Weedon notes that while budget shortfalls present additional challenges, corrections professionals should not overlook the opportunities they present. Strong competition will exist for state and federal money, but "there is an opportunity to address a number of important issues and adopt better policy at both the state and federal levels. This is a challenge .... and an opportunity."

  • States Balk at Cuts in Federal Business Tax
    Wall Street Journal
    18 March 2002
    Pgs. A2 and A10
    Several states are balking at accepting corporate tax breaks in the new stimulus bill (as mentioned in our paper). They say they can't afford to lose more revenue. The breaks are estimated to cost states $14.7 billion over three years because 46 states have all or part of their corporate tax structure tied to the federal system.

    Some states are undoing their automatic linkage to the federal tax code. Virginia and Wisconsin have already passed bills in that direction.

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