Dept. of Corrections plans for budget cuts

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The House Appropriations Committee, the group that controls the money, met Tuesday morning to hear how different agencies are handling budget cuts.

James LeBlanc got his turn to talk about the Dept. of Corrections' $53 million cut.

"We think we can do this without any major difficulty," said LeBlanc. "Obviously, logistically there is a challenge to do something in a prison like this. But you know the biggest issue is the staff that are involved."

LeBlanc says part of getting the budget under control is to sell the Avoyelles Prison to a private company and close two other prisons in North and Central Louisiana. "Avoyelles employees, the ones that do not get hired by the private prison, can move to Angola," says LeBlanc.

He says the average cost of an employee at Avoyelles is $64,000 per year, including benefits.

LeBlanc says the private prison's pay will be substantially lower.

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