Letter to the Editor: Wrong move in sending Delaware inmates to Pennsylvania

Delaware has begun sending 330 inmates to Pennsylvania in an attempt to reduce the amount of over-time correctional officer’s work. This decision comes after the state spent more than $30 million in last year’s budget on overtime at the prisons. To reduce the overtime and make a safe environment at the prisons, the state would have to hire 650 new correction officials.

Under a two-year plan with Pennsylvania prison systems, Delaware will pay $123 day per for each inmate. The 330 inmates will cost Delaware $40,590 daily. Over the two-year plan it would cost the taxpayer $29,630,700.

Now before we all rush out and agree that this is the best way to reduce the prison overtime and make safety and security inside our facilities more durable, it might be well to ponder a few inconvenient truths.

Delaware has just raised the correctional officer starting salary to 43,000 plus a $3,000 signing bonus. This I believe is not enough because other states pay more for their starting correctional officers salary such as California $51,080, Massachusetts $51,610, Connecticut $47,120, Rhode Island $49,700, just to name a few. I am proposing the state to offer $52,000 for the starting salary of correction officers. This I believe will help fill vacancies.

The most damaging result by sending inmates to another state could be the ripple effect of Delawareans losing income to support their families. One out of every 426 homes in this state is in foreclosure.

I am against anybody who is hurting working families. Government officials must do all that they can to keep good jobs here in this state and help Delaware citizens to support their families and pursue the American Dream so that they may enjoy a healthy standard of living.

David W. Mazur

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