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State Prisons’ Movie Studio Cost $500,000

Sacramento, CA — State prison officials grappled last year with the largest deficit in the agency´s history.

But that didn´t stop them from allowing a private inmate drug treatment foundation to spend nearly a half million dollars of taxpayer money to create a movie studio.

The money was supposed to go to substance abuse programs. But instead, it was used to buy everything from two high-tech cameras to two 50-inch plasma-screen televisions.

It was spent in the same fiscal year that the state´s prison system racked up a $543 million deficit.

Prison officials and the head of the group that created the studio, Amity Foundation say the idea was to produce training videos for far-flung prisons where counselors need more information on how to provide substance abuse treatment programs to inmates.