Releasing terminally ill inmates saves state millions
Published: October 3,2011
ACROSS MISSISSIPPI — Releasing 89 terminally ill inmates has saved Mississippi about $5 million over seven years, corrections officials say.
About $3.8 million of the savings was in medical costs and the rest was the cost of incarceration, The Clarion-Ledger reported.
Releasing terminally ill prisoners lets the state avoid costly health treatments and is more humane for inmates facing their final days, officials say. Some were released to their homes, others to care facilities.
“I wouldn’t change anything with the process,” said Dr. Gloria Perry, the Mississippi Department of Corrections chief medical officer.
The department said 18 of those released are still alive, but most die within four months.
Eight have been sent back to prison for additional offenses, but Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said he thinks the program has done well.
The state could release at least 25 more inmates under a proposed bill to extend the law to anyone who is bedridden. “We will be supporting that legislation,” Epps said.
The released inmates were just a fraction of the 21,400 prisoners in the state’s corrections system and of those released early. But they are among the most expensive to keep behind bars, so their release often yields the biggest savings.
The program does have opponents.
“I can understand the cost factor and the humane thing of letting these inmates be with their family, but the victims would have liked to be with their loved ones,” said Carolyn Clayton of Saltillo, founder of the victims’ advocate group Survival Inc.
To sign up for Mississippi Business Daily Updates, click here.
Twang & Tourism: The Country Music Trail
Still planning that summer vacation?
FOLLOW THE MBJ ON TWITTERMy Tweets
Top Posts & Pages
- Silver Airways ordered to continue service
- Seafood R’evolution set to make Mississippi ‘the new culinary epicenter of the South’
- Bryant signs controversial abortion ban bill
- Soybean yield more than doubles in less than a decade
- Pharma Pac lays off rest of workers; could end up owing state
- Plans unveiled for large shooting range on Coast
- Two Delta groups getting economic development funding
- Ole Miss launches commitment to be 'climate neutral'
- Yarber could be sworn in today as new Jackson mayor
- Biloxi baseball project still alive but may be held for 2015