Department of Corrections Statement on the Biennial Budget
The New Hampshire Department of Corrections portion of Governor John H. Lynch’s 2010-2011 budget includes the closing of the Lakes Region Facility (LRF) in Laconia and a reduction of 171 employee positions including some which are currently staffed.
Given the state’s current economic situation we understand these budget decisions present extraordinary challenges for both the State and the Department and we believe our plan of action is appropriate to address these concerns and implement solutions.
LRF was a converted school complex that opened in 1991. Its original use was to be short-term. Operationally its design made it the least efficient and costliest facility to manage and its best use was a programming facility for minimum security inmates. Through our utilization of LRF, we have set the framework for our ongoing emphasis on successful offender reentry, which involves reallocating resources and changing the physical plant at the Northern NH Correctional Facility (NCF) in Berlin. Our programming staff will be tasked with developing and implementing programs that will assist in this process.
The Department will review all staff positions at all facilities and layoffs will be accomplished using existing state personnel rules. Employees at LRF that are not laid off will be reassigned to similar positions elsewhere within DOC. We are sensitive to the employees’ situations and we will work with them to provide adequate notice and assistance on their benefits. All laid off employees are eligible for call back as positions become available again.
We will conduct an administrative review of the inmate population and work with offenders who have been approved for parole but have lacked certain requirements. Our Case Counselors will work with these offenders to satisfy those requirements to be released in an efficient manner.
Another initiative will be to transfer eligible non-violent illegal aliens incarcerated in our prisons to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation proceedings.
Inmates that are not eligible for parole or deportation will be sent to the NH State Prison in Concord and Northern NH Correctional Facility (NCF) in Berlin. We will make adjustments to the physical plant at NCF to better utilize its capacity.