Staffing Shortage Seen as Cause for Recidivism in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. — A shortage of correctional staffing has led to an increase in inmates, according to William Wrenn, corrections commissioner in New Hampshire.
Wrenn told the Concord Monitor newspaper that recidivism has risen by 50 percent in the state contributing to a boom in prison population. He attributed the recidivism to a decline in state employees to manage the special needs of some parolees, as well as to cuts in services.
Lawmakers in New Hampshire are monitoring the situation and passed a bill recently that is aimed at curbing recidivism and reducing costs. The bill is expected to save an estimated $10 million between 2011 and 2015, and savings will be redirected to community-based services for offenders.
Wrenn added that the bill would allow probation officials to focus on high-risk and high-need offenders.