A $7.5 Million Shortfall is Expected for South Carolina’s Prisons
South Carolina Department of Corrections Director Jon Ozmint has credibility in his state. Over the past seven years, the corrections budget in South Carolina has increased by 2%, while the state budget as a whole has increased by 35%. Within these budget constraints, Ozmint has had some notable successes. He has reduced escapes and assaults in South Carolina’s prisons, and the Department of Corrections has set GED completion records.
Now, Bloomberg reports that the state’s prison system will be running a $7.5 million shortfall in its current budget. In the article, Ozmint says that “[t]he only way to cut $7 million from our budget would be to lay off a lot of people really quickly and close a prison.” The article further notes that “Ozmint has twice proposed plans to release nonviolent offenders early and close a prison but said there was little political support in the Legislature.” If Governor-Elect Nikki Haley retains Ozmint as SCDC Director, it seems he will have to make his case to the Legislature yet again.