DOC bills move to 3rd reading file, including proposed commissary

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At the legislative session this morning, senators sent Bill 182-35 to the third reading file, where they'll vote to pass it or not.

A commissary at the Mangilao jail is a little closer to being a reality.

At the legislative session this morning, senators sent Bill 182-35 to the third reading file, where they’ll vote to pass it or not.

The bill would allow the DOC to either operate, or outsource the operation, of an inmate commissary at the main jail.

Senator Regine Biscoe Lee says, that more than anything, a commissary will help combat the contraband issue.

“Anyone who has paid attention to the corrections department knows that it battles a persistent barrage of drugs, phones, and even improper food items — all looking to be illegally brought in to what should be a secured facility. One way people have tried and succeeded in this mission is by using food items and toiletries as a decoy for what’s really being exchanged. Not instant ramen, but meth. Not deodorant, but needles,” the senator said.

If passed, all the funds collected from the commissary would go right back to Corrections, helping to enhance inmate welfare, and fund rehabilitation programs.

Off to third reading as well is a bill to create a civilian reservist group for the DOC.

At this morning’s session, Senator Jose “Pedo” Terlaje says for just $60,000 a year, corrections can have 10 reservists on-call, to fill in when full-time corrections staff are ill or on vacation.

He added it’s an immediate way to address the massive staff shortages at the jail.

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