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Prison Cuts Look Grim
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) has just started tackling implementation of the 2.5 percent reductions the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) ordered to state agencies last fall. The reductions are supposed to help make up for a projected multibillion-dollar revenue shortfall for the current biennium budget--and do not even touch the projected $15-$27 billion shortfall for the 2012-2013 budget.
Budget-cutting proposals by the TDCJ include day-to-day prison expenses, such as meals, facility closures, and layoffs. The LBB's 2.5 percent reduction included $74,708,695 out of the TDCJ budget. According to the TDCJ, depending on when the layoffs occur, 1,033-2,235 full-time positions would be eliminated. An article in the Austin American-Statesman explains the challenges faced by the TDCJ.