The Department of Corrections has not begun to comply with state regulations requiring it to deduct ten percent from inmate savings accounts to pay for the cost of incarceration, according to a state auditors’ report released Friday.
The department maintains a fund to account for money inmates either earn while in prison or are given by family or other approved sources. This money is typically used by inmates to purchase items at prison commissaries.
But state statutes require that a portion of those funds be returned to the state when an inmate is released to recover incarceration costs or for establishing an inmate savings program. According to the report, based on data from fiscal years 2008 and 2009, the department has not done this.
The Correctional Department chalks its non-compliance up to legislative changes that have failed to pass the General Assembly, the report said.
Working with the Office of the Attorney General, the department said it developed a proposal to amend the statutes to give it the authority to withhold the money, the report said. Current statutes have inconsistencies and create requirements “that make implementation problematic,” the report said. But that bill failed to pass during the 2008 session and subsequent efforts have met the same fate, it said.
The department said it intends to propose the revisions again this year.