The Georgia Department of Corrections has stated several time to the media that across the board budget cuts by the Governor have not affected security at Hays State Prison.

At last week’s press conference Director of Special Operations for the Department of Corrections, Rick Jacobs told reporters that security at the prison had not been affected from cuts to the state budget and in an interview with Brian Owens, Assistant Commissioner with the Department of Corrections, Brian Owens told AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio that nothing affecting security at closed security prisons like Hays Prison in Pennville were influenced by the cuts to the state wide budget.

But Democratic candidate for the 53rd Senate District Bruce Coker has a different view of the situation.  Coker told AM 1180 yesterday, "We are starting to see the residuals as to what these budget cuts can do.  The people here in Chattooga County are experiencing a couple of escapees (from Hays Prison)."  Coker said that he visited the prison just a few weeks ago and the warden was expressing to him how budget cuts were affecting the security at the prison.

You can here the complete interview with Coker next week during the NEWSMAKERS program on AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio.