State Prisons Running Out Of Money

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Corrections says it doesn’t have enough money to operate the state’s prisons through the end of the year. And it wants to run a $4.3 million deficit.


The department last ran a deficit in the 2004 fiscal year totaling $23.7 million. Since the last recession in 2001, it has run a total of $57.5 million in the red.


The state Budget and Control Board will hear a request to run a deficit when it meets Tuesday. The shortfall could be made up by surpluses elsewhere or tapping into state reserve cash.


The agency has a state budget of $336 million. Medical care, food and fuel costs are up $8 million this year, officials said.

Agency spokesman Josh Gelinas said the medical costs have increased with an aging prison population. The department spends $1.43 daily to feed each inmate



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