Texas prison officials warned Thursday that the 10 percent budget cut recommended by state leaders would cost thousands of jobs in the nation’s largest prison system and likely threaten public safety, reports the Associated Press. Department of Criminal Justice officials unveiled a roughly $6.3 billion proposed budget for fiscal 2014 and 2015, up from about $6.1 billion in the previous two-year spending cycle. Officials noted that the system is already short about 2,750 workers and competing with higher-salaried oil jobs in some parts of the state.
Department of Criminal Justice Executive Director Brad Livingston said he was optimistic he could convince lawmakers, who will start working on the state budget in January, to fully fund the budget request. Gov. Rick Perry and other top state officials have asked all state agencies to offer contingency plans with 10 percent cuts. But corrections officials said a 10 percent cut would eliminate 4,800 jobs, including 3,200 corrections officers and parole staff.