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Jack Harper’s $13,000 question

In a quest to kill a component of the budget earlier this year, Sen. Jack Harper cost the state more than $13,000. But the Republican lawmaker says the money was well-spent, and may have saved the state from letting hundreds of “hardened” criminals out on the street.

Back in April, Harper held a press conference to blast a cost-saving component of the budget that would have expanded the Home Arrest Program operated by the Department of Corrections to include inmates currently incarcerated at state facilities who had less than a year remaining on their sentence. At the press conference, he told reporters he had reviewed more than 300 pre-sentencing reports for inmates that DOC said would be eligible for home arrest. Harper concluded that expanding the program would result in violent criminals being put back on the street. He was able to review those reports because of a request he made of DOC that they provide him with the pre-sentence reports of every inmate who would have become eligible for home arrest if the program were expanded.

To read more on this item plus all the stories in the Oct. 7 Yellow Sheet Report, go to www.yellowsheetreport.com (Yellow Sheet Subscription Required).

One comment

  1. My question would be why it should cost anything to review material pertinent to a program? Particularly one that might cost more than money regarding public safety. In this writer’s view Senator Harper did what was necessary and I suspect the cost involved has been a roadblock in the past preventing others from taking the necessary steps to get anything done.

    This “blurb” which appears to criticize the senator does not contain enough information for the reader to understand the entire process or know the full story. Perhaps in the future the Times could provide more substance.

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