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Inmate Release Plan

February 20th, 2009 by flanews

A plan to release 3,900 inmates from Florida prisons is being discussed in Tallahassee. Releasing the inmates would allow the state to postpone building three new prisons at a cost of 300 million taxpayer dollars. As Whitney Ray tells us, The Department of Corrections doesnt support the early release plan, but says something needs to be done to cut down the states prison population.

Hear it Here: Inmate Release Plan

The state plans to build three new prisons at a hundred million dollars a piece to keep up with the growing inmate population. Floridas biggest business lobby says it would be cheaper to release 3,900 inmates.

We are major providers of state taxes, though the revenues that we give to the state of Florida. We want a better bang for our buck, said AIF President Barney Bishop.

The release plan wouldnt apply to murders, pedophiles, or armed robbers. Only non-violent offenders would be eligible for release.

The Florida Police Benevolent Association support efforts to cut down on the prison population, but questions giving out get out of jail free cards.

It would send a shock wave through the system. I dont think thats good public policy, said PBA Spokesman Matt Puckett.

One out of every three inmates released from Florida Prisons end up back in the system. The plan would require released inmate to receive job training. The Department of Corrections opposes early releases, but supports the training portion.

Inmates that receive basic education, substance abuse training, are far less likely to go out into the community, create a new crime and come back into our system, said DOC Spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger.

Another idea to help balance the states shrinking budget includes shipping prisoners out of state or to private prisons. Lawmakers say the state could save 24 million by outsourcing prison services. Police lobby groups say send inmates out of state jeopardizes the jobs of Floridas correctional officers.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Economy, Legislature, State Budget, State News | 4 Comments »

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