Budget cuts could accelerate release of felons

NASHVILLE - State budget cuts could accelerate the release of felons from state prisons as well as slash payments to local jails housing state felons, according to an outline of possible cuts presented to Gov. Bill Haslam today.

Correction Commissioner Derrick D. Schofield presented plans to cut between 1 to 3 percent. Under the 1 percent scenario, the state would expand the use of sentence credits to nearly 2,200 more state prisoners annually if they complete pre-release and Career Management for Success programs. The move would save the state $5.74 million.

In the 3 percent scenario, the department is recommending the state slash payments made to local jails housing state prisoners from $35 to $32 per prisoner per day. The move, which would affect 66 jails, including Hamilton County, would save the state $2.6