(TRENTON) – Assembly Law and Public Safety Chairman Gordon Johnson on Monday released the following statement as the Assembly Budget Committee heard testimony from the Department of Corrections and the State Parole Board:
“We know that about 6,600 low-risk, non-violent state inmates incarcerated for drug- related crime would be better served in substance abuse treatment centers and other types of community release facilities.
“Not only would this be a more humane and sensible approach, but considering it costs about $49,000 per year to incarcerate someone, doing so could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
“Yet, Gov. Christie’s budget would slash funding for inmate substance abuse programs.
“We all have different opinions on approaches to incarceration, but one thing we can all agree on in these difficult economic times is that we must ensure every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely and efficiently. I’m not convinced Gov. Christie’s corrections budget does that, and I hope to work with him to steer it in a new direction that benefits both taxpayers and those trying to rebuild their lives for the betterment of society.”
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