Will Inmates Be Cut Loose?

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Gov. Haley Barbour said Thursday that a fourth round of budget cuts for this year is likely.

He has already made three rounds of cuts because of dismally low state revenues.

Barbour has indicated that continuing cuts might lead to some prisoners being released from jail. That's a possibility that local law enforcement is hoping doesn't happen.

So far the number being tossed around is 3,000 to 4,000 state inmates who could be released due to the state's floundering economy.

According to Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie, that could mean serious problems for local communities on a good day, but definitely during a recession.

The governor has said that stimulus money may be used to lower the number of inmates who are released, but regardless of the number, Sollie says releasing inmates who aren't up for release sends a dangerous message.

Not only does it create a potential safety issue for the county, but Sheriff Sollie says it also could mean trouble for inmate labor.

But when you have crime, you have victims. This news has already created criticism from victims of crime who say releasing inmates isn't fair and could create more crime.

Sollie said he hopes only non-violent offenders would be released.

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