Tight Budget Leaves Halfway Houses Empty

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By Kara Kelly

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Corrections officials say five newly built or expanded halfway houses are sitting empty because there is no money for workers.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that a $6 million, 45-bed center in Waterloo was completed more than a year ago but remains empty due to no staff.

The halfway houses are intended ease the overflow of people waiting to serve sentences at other correctional sites.

Corrections officials thought there would be money available to staff the new center when it was completed in April 2011, but the state Corrections Department had a tight budget and opted against funding the Waterloo center or others in correctional service districts in Davenport, Ames, Sioux City and Ottumwa.

On Friday, corrections officials will consider a proposal to fund the Waterloo center.

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