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Washington State Trims Budget Gap by Shortening Prisoners' Socks

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The Washington State Department of Corrections needs to trim $53 million from its operating budget.

Where to begin?

Well, for starters, the department laid off 1,400 staff over the past three years.

It also closed two minimum-security prisons this year, cut health-care services, inmate programs, and community corrections supervision.

But it's barely made a dent.

So, the DOC is doing everything it can to save a few bucks everywhere it can.

Chad Lewis, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Corrections, says the cuts have been "broad and deep." And now, they're about to get broader and deeper. Much deeper.

Aside from recycling inmate underwear (savings unknown) and buying 40% fewer trash can liners (which will save $220,000 a year), prisoners will now slake their thirst with juice boxes rather than by way of self-service cafeteria juice fountains (a savings of $120,000 annually).

Inmates will also be given shorter socks than have been issued in the past, saving $22,000 a year.

With cotton prices at their highest level since Reconstruction, it's not all that surprising that prison officials would look to the humble sock for cost savings. Perhaps they'll consider offering a simple basic cable TV package to inmates next, as we all know how expensive premium channels can be:

Though, not allowing a convict his MTV could be considered cruel and inhuman.
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