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Three State Prisons on the Chopping Block

March 26th, 2010 by flanews

Three state prisons would be shut down and 640 correctional officers would lose their jobs under the senate’s budget proposal. Some of the money saved from shutting down the prisons and firing the officers would be used to hire a private prison company for a facility in Santa Rosa County known as the Blackwater Prison. Matt Puckett with the Florida Police Benevolent Association says correctional officers who have risked their lives for years are being sacrificed so the private sector can pull down state dollars.

“Basically the private sector has built a prison, we don’t have enough inmates to fill this prison, so they are going to take inmates from the private sector to fill it, so we are calling it the Blackwater bailout,” said Puckett

The PBA is fighting for an amendment in the Senate’s budget to save the prisons. The budget doesn’t name which prisons would be closed and gives the state until July 1st to decide who will be laid off.

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