Daily Archives: May 12, 2013

Correction cuts have compromised public safety

A new risk-assessment tool may help Sedgwick County judges better determine whether an offender is likely to succeed at a community correction facility or should be sentenced to prison. But another key to reducing Sedgwick County’s probation-failure rate, which is significantly higher than the state average, is to make sure community correction programs are adequately funded. Pound-foolish budget cuts have reduced by half the number of beds at the county’s adult residential center, which means more higher-risk offenders are living in the community with less structure and supervision. That’s a recipe for recidivism. Gov. Sam Brownback recently signed a bill aimed at reducing the need for prison beds, which is projected to save the state $53million in the next five years. About $5million of those savings are supposed to be reinvested in community-based programs. Those programs need better support. As Mark Masterson, director of the county’s department of corrections, acknowledged: “To say that services have not been compromised – the truth is they have.”

Update regulations, revitalize general aviation

Good for Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, for trying to lower costs and increase innovation in the general aviation industry. Pompeo and four other lawmakers have introduced the Light Aircraft Revitalization Act, which would implement regulatory changes recommended by a Federal Aviation Administration committee of aviation authorities and industry representatives. Congress needs to review these recommendations to make sure they wouldn’t compromise safety. But Pompeo contends that the slow and burdensome certification process keeps products out of the market that could actually improve safety.