It’s too bad nobody came to Valdosta’s two public budget hearings,
because the city prepared
183 slides with details for each
department, including goals and accomplishments.
the LAKE website is that presentation sent on request by City Clerk Teresa Bolden,
converted to HTML by LAKE.
Plus the actual budget.
No open records requests were required.
Oh, and Valdosta runs garbage collection on a balanced budget
without any exclusive franchises.
The Valdosta City Council approved the fiscal year 2014 budget for
the City of Valdosta at the June 20 City Council meeting, after
having the opportunity to hear the proposed budget at the hearings
on June 11 and 12. City staff presented the council with a balanced
budget, as required by the City Charter, possibly one of the most
challenging and difficult budgets prepared in years.
City leaders decreased the overall city budget from $86.2 million to
$77.3 million, a result of Continue reading →
The United States currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world. We calculate that a reduction in incarceration rates just to the level we had in 1993 (which was already high by historical standards) would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year, with the large majority of these savings accruing to financially squeezed state and local governments. As a group, state governments could save $7.6 billion, while local governments could save $7.2 billion.
These cost savings could be realized through a reduction by one-half in the incarceration rate of exclusively non-violent offenders, who now make up over 60 percent of the prison and jail population.
A review of the extensive research on incarceration and crime suggests that these savings could be achieved without any appreciable deterioration in public safety.
There’s a 19 page PDF report published by the Center for Economic and Policy Research,
but that one graph pretty much spells it out:
incarceration went up abruptly starting in the early 1980s and continued up,
while crime did not.
What we have here is a very expensive policy mistake.