Argall introduces study to examine corrections spending, overtime costs

HARRISBURG – Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) is asking for a review of staffing levels and mandatory overtime for corrections officers within the state’s Department of Corrections.

“Over the last several years, we’ve seen the positive results of criminal justice reform initiatives signed into law, namely reductions in inmate population and recidivism.” Argall said. “However, the expenses for corrections continues to climb.”

Argall is sponsoring a Senate Resolution to study the cost of mandatory overtime costs and staffing shortages within the department. In 2014-15, the department spent over $85 million in overtime costs.

“Overtime spending has increased more than 57 percent between 2009-10 and 2013-14 despite historic inmate population reductions,” Argall said. “The goal is to find out if we can save tax dollars without jeopardizing public safety and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the public and our corrections officers.”

On Tuesday, the administration touted a reduction of 850 inmates in Pennsylvania for 2015, representing the largest decrease in 40 years.

Argall’s resolution will look at the cost to pay mandatory overtime compared to hiring new correctional officers.

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