Prison Budget

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County jails could tap into a three (M) million dollar fund to move some convicted drunken drivers from jail to treatment programs.

That's according to a provision in the overall budget for the state Department of Corrections approved today by a state House subcommittee.

It approved the overall budget of nearly two billion dollars for the corrections department in the upcoming fiscal year.

The subcommittee established the three million dollar fund to help counties afford moving some drunken driving offenders out of jail and into treatment programs.

Dennis Schrantz is the chief deputy director of field operations for the state Department of Corrections.

He says the amendment will open up space in jails and allow them to take more prison inmates who are allowed to serve their time in jails.

He said that switch will create more room in prisons, which are close to capacity.

The spending plan now goes to the House Appropriations Committee, which could take it up as early as Wednesday.