Warning: Constant ABSPATH already defined in /home/flanews/public_html/wp-config.php on line 34
Capitol News Service » Blog Archive » Private Prison Plan Headed to Court

Welcome to

Capitol News Service

Florida's Best Political Coverage on Television

Private Prison Plan Headed to Court

September 22nd, 2011 by Mike Vasilinda

A plan to let a private company operate a dozen state prisons in South west Florida will get a crucial hearing next week. the plan has been controversial because of the size of the privatization and because of the way it was done.

The state receives bids next week from private companies wanting to operate a dozen state prisons. Ken wood, a Teamsters Vice President has already filed an ethics complaint over the proposal.  “And the Republican Party has taken a million dollars in contributions from the very companies that will benefit from this,” says Wood.

The last prison privatized..Blackwater Correctional in the panhandle, is the subject of an ongoing pay to play investigation by the FBI.The legislature didn’t have one debate about privatizing prisons. the language was stuck in the budget at the very last minute.

The plan to privatize the prisons is being challenged in court next week as well. Matt Puckett of the Florida Police Benevolent Association is arguing that you can’t change state law simply by telling the Dept. of Corrections how to spend or not spend money.

“They have never done a study to show that prison privatization actually saves money” says Puckett. “So we think the public was hoodwinked.”

Rick Scott has tried to keep the Corrections Secretary that he fired over the privatization issue from testifying in court next week. Democrats and Republicans alike say the way the plan was slipped into the budget doesn’t pass the smell test.

State Senator Eleanor Sobel of Broward County hopes the issue is revisited by lawmakers. “Prison Privatization needs to be debated, It needs to be discussed” she says. Republican State Senator Charlie Dean of Inverness agrees “And we didn’t have that big discussion.”

At stake are thousands of jobs for correctional officers who could get payouts totaling 25 million dollars. That’s more  than the 18 to 22 million the state would save from privatizing the prisons .

The bid process was limited to one bid for all 12 prisons being privatized, eliminating smaller companies who might have bid on one or two prisons. The bids are due tuesday and the law suit gets a hearing on Thursday. The plan calls for the prisons to go private on January first.

Posted in State News | 1 Comment »

Leave a Comment

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

copyright © 2016 by Capitol News Service | Powered by Wordpress | Hosted by LyonsHost.com