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Florida to close 7 prisons

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Florida to close 7 prisons

Post by falkor » Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:38 am

By JAMES L. ROSICA Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The state of Florida is closing seven of its state prisons and four work camps for a savings of roughly $90 million through 2013.

But what wasn't clear after Thursday's announcement was how many of the nearly 1,300 employees who work at those facilities, including corrections officers, would still have jobs.

"I'm not going to guarantee we can place everyone," said Corrections Secretary Kenneth S. Tucker. He did say he would reach out to other state agencies and county sheriffs to find jobs for corrections workers.

Tucker said individual facilities were evaluated for closing based on a scoring system that includes factors such as cost per inmate. Another was "community impact," which counts the loss of business to local vendors.

The final decisions were strictly business, he said.

He noted the state has more prison room than it has inmates, about 116,000 beds for 100,000 current inmates.

The prisons being closed are Broward Correctional Institution in Fort Lauderdale, Demilly Correctional Institution in Polk City, Gainesville Correctional Institution in Alachua County, Hillsborough Correctional Institution near Tampa, Indian River Correctional Institution in Vero Beach, Jefferson Correctional Institution in Monticello and both units of New River Correctional Institution in Raiford.

Work camps being shuttered are River Junction Work Camp in Chattahoochee, Caryville Work Camp in Washington County, Hendry Work Camp in Immokalee and Levy Forestry Camp in Ocala.

No inmates will be released early as a result of the agency's consolidation plan. Inmates at the prisons and camps slated for closure will be moved to other facilities.

Ken Wood, acting president of Teamsters Local 2011, the union that represents corrections officers, noted that the closings announcement came just as union and state representatives were about to review new contract proposals.

"The closings of these prisons are on the backs of hardworking officers who keep Florida communities safe," Wood said.

Sen. Mike Fasano said Tucker had been briefed him on the closures earlier this week. The New Port Richey Republican chairs the subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations, which oversees the budget for the corrections department.

Fasano said about 300 corrections employees, including corrections officers, quit or retire every month.

"Therefore, there shouldn't be any reason why anyone should lose their job as they close down these prisons statewide," he added.


Re: Florida to close 7 prisons

Post by guest » Tue Jan 17, 2012 5:25 pm

that's terrible, stray dog

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