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Corrections Dept.: 'We had hoped to avoid using prioritization plan'

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The director of transition planning services for the state’s Department of Correction and Rehabilitation said DOCR had hoped it wouldn’t have to activate is “prioritization plan” for housing women inmates.

But Steven Hall said right now, there’s literally no room for new female inmates.

The system can house 1624 male inmates, and 224 female inmates. That 224 has been reached – and now, the Department has had to implement its plan – which says inmates are taken, when there are openings, based on the seriousness of the offense. That means a number of women are staying in county jails.

"We were hoping to stay out of prioritization all together," Hall said. "It really comes down to sentencing practices."

Hall said DOCR is hoping it won't reach maximum for male inmates.

"We hope we can get out of it eventually for the females," Hall said.

The counties complain about having to pick up the cost for some of the female inmates that likely would have gone to state facilities.  But Hall said the Legislature did not allocate money for the counties who hold those inmates.

"The Legislature had made the decision about the prioritization and funding in the 2017 session," Hall said. "That's what we're following."

Hall said the 2019 Legislature did not add funding for counties.

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