GO-TIME: Department of Corrections Saves $500,000 by Reducing Inmate Transportation Costs
May 09, 2016
Harrisburg, PA – The Department of Corrections is saving more than $500,000 a year in transportation costs by temporarily relocating inmates receiving radiation treatment to a single facility.
“Here is another example of how my administration is making government more efficient and saving taxpayer dollars,” Governor Wolf said. “From our prisons to our mailrooms, we’re focused on changing the way business is conducted to assure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, redundancies are eliminated and customer interactions – in-person, online and by phone – at all levels are improved.”
In 2015, the DOC began consolidating inmate radiation treatment cases at the State Correctional Institution at Somerset.
Relocating inmates from throughout the DOC to this prison during the course of their radiation treatments reduces the costs associated with transporting inmates to various medical facilities across the state.
Through an agreement with Somerset Hospital, DOC inmates are transferred from other state prisons to SCI Somerset where they are then transported – on an out-patient basis – to the local hospital to receive their radiation treatments, resulting in a cost savings for taxpayers.
“DOC officials again prove that government works and that it works at saving taxpayer money. This consolidation of inmates uses DOC resources, specifically transportation officers and vehicles, more efficiently,” Corrections Secretary John Wetzel said. “It is so effective that we have already achieved an annual net savings of $528,600.”
This initiative was one of several concepts submitted by the DOC to the Governor’s Office of Transformation, Innovation, Modernization and Efficiency (GO-TIME), created by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2015. GO-TIME leverages inter-agency coordination and collaboration to maximize efficiency, modernize state government operations and provide the highest quality services.
Dr. Paul Noel, clinical services director for the DOC’s Bureau of Health Care Services, and his staff identified the savings and partnered with SCI Somerset Superintendent Trevor Wingard and his employees, Wetzel said.
“I am extremely proud of our employees who are committed to providing appropriate care to our inmates in a fiscally responsible way,” he said.
DOC staff reviewed all off-site trips for this specific medical treatment and determined that housing inmates at one facility would improve efficiencies and reduce transportation costs.
Between April 2015 and April 2016, 491 inmates were treated at SCI Somerset. By moving a number of cases to SCI Somerset, officials discovered that the number of trips could be reduced through consolidation, and the need for lengthy trips would be reduced. Some trips were averaging 4½ hours in length due to the location of the prison from the medical facility.
GO-TIME works with agencies, boards and commissions to identify opportunities to share resources, collaborate and engage employees in transformation. GO-TIME also seeks partnerships with external entities to bring new ideas and best practices into state government.
To date, GO-TIME has identified over 200 projects with cost savings and other benefits, putting the office well on its way to meeting Governor Wolf’s goal of saving $150 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Pennsylvanians can track GO-TIME’s progress at https://governor.pa.gov/go-time/.
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