Time off from jail - County considers allowing prisoners to earn furloughs (273)


LACONIA — Keith Gray, Superintendent of the Belknap County Department of Corrections, may offer inmates furloughs to spend holidays with their families in an effort to encourage them to improve their performance while working in the county complex, especially the kitchen.

Gray, together with Carolee Sliker, the dietary manager, told the Belknap County Commissioners this week that while women work well in the laundry, men in the kitchen have been a recurrent source of problems.

Inmates working in the kitchen and laundry earn $3 per day, paid in the form of a credit they can apply while incarcerated and redeemed for cash if they have a balance when they are released. Last year, inmates altogether earned $2,808.

County Administrator Debra Shackett said that despite the compensation, the performance of inmates working in the kitchen has not significantly improved, but remains a source of persistent problems.

In the laundry, three inmates work alongside three employees. But, in the kitchen one employee oversees and supervises the work of three or four inmates. Sliker said that "It's lots of small petty stuff," but has also led to broken dishes and damaged equipment. As a result, she noted there has been a constant turnover and frequent retraining of inmates, which places undue demands and pressures on the kitchen personnel who must manage them.

When Gray suggested discontinuing payment to inmates working in the kitchen, Commissioner David DeVoy, who chairs the commission, stressed the importance of rewarding good behavior. Gray said that furloughs, particularly for significant holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, have proved effective incentives in other correctional facilities and indicated he would consider introducing a program at the county jail.

Nipple Rock

04-08 Nipple Rock

Aerial photographer Bill Hemmel noticed that is a large rock east of Round Island in Winnipesaukee, commonly called Nipple Rock, appears to have received a fresh coat of paint. (Courtesy Bill Hemmel)

Gallagher announces candidacy in District 2

Brian Gallagher - Sanbornton Rep


SANBORNTON — State Rep. Brian Gallagher, a Republican serving his first term in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, has announced he will run for the Senate in District 2, the seat opened by the decision of incumbent Jeanie Forrester to enter the race for governor.

Now retired, Gallagher is a veteran of state government who spent more than three decades working in public finance in New Hampshire , including 12 years in the state budget office at the Department of Administrative Services and another eight at the administrative office of the court system. In Sanbornton, he has served on the Budget Committee, PlanningBoard and Capital Improvements Committee, as well as served as a library trustee and trustee of the trust funds. He was also a member of the Budget Committee of the Winnisquam Regional School District.
In the Legislature, Gallagher drew nationwide attention this year by sponsoring legislation to forbid women from appearing topless in public places, which the House rejected by a voice vote.
Gallagher sits on the House Ways and Means Committee. As a member of the Belknap County Delegation has played a leading role in shaping the county budget. In particular, he was the architect of the delegation's decision to withdraw $600,000 from the fund balance and return it to property taxpayers, which was hotly opposed by a majority of the Belknap County Commissioners, who preferred to apply the funds to capital projects.
In announcing his candidacy for the Senate, Gallagher said his goal "will be to protect your money, your freedoms and the economic future of your families." Describing himself as a "conservative Republican," he said he will oppose a sales or income tax while working to reduce "government waste," promote economic growth with "pro-business policies," support families and seniors in need and ensure local control of schools.
Bob Giuda of Warren, a former member and deputy majority leader of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, announced last week that he would run for the Senate in District 2.

Senate District 2 consists of 27 towns in three counties: Haverhill, Piermont, Orford,Warren, Wentowrth, Dorechester, Ellsworth, Rumney. Groton, Orange, Grafton, Campton, Plymouth, Hebron, Alexandria, Holderness, Ashland, Bridgewater and Bristol in Grafton County; Meredith, Center Harbor, New Hampton, Sanbornton and Tilton in Belknap County; and Hill, Danbury and Wilmot in Merrimack County.