[UPDATE] 6 Florida DOC Facilities to Close by This Summer

By: AP, Julie Montanaro Email
By: AP, Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 3.16.2011 by Julie Montanaro

The Tallahassee Road Prison is one of three facilities slated to close by July 1st in hopes of saving 30 million dollars a year.

The low security prison on Springhill Road is home to 82 inmates and 30 employees. All of the inmates will be moved to the Quincy Annex and employees will be moved to either the Quincy Annex, Jefferson Correctional or Liberty Correctional.

A Department of Corrections Spokesperson says the road prison was targeted because it is 70 years old.

"The Tallahassee Road Prison was built in 1941. If we were to keep it open it would need $422,000 dollars worth of repairs, which is a lot for an institution that holds 82 inmates," said DOC Spokeswoman Gretl Plesinger.

Plesinger says a levelling off in the state prison population makes this a perfect time to consolidate facilities and move inmates from smaller prisons to larger ones to save money.

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[UPDATE] 3-16 11am --

The Department of Corrections announced plans Tuesday to close three prisons, two boot camp programs and another facility as a way of saving $30 million that agency officials say can be done without releasing any inmates early.

Prisons officials also claim they can do it without many layoffs. A statement from the department said “the bulk” of the cost savings would be generated through employee attrition.

Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss said last week that with about 350 jobs a month turning over in the system, not filling them could give the agency almost all the cuts it needs.

The agency announced plans to close Brevard Correctional Institution near Cocoa, Hendry Correctional Institution in Immokalee and Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Riverview. Also on the block for closure will be the Tallahassee Road Prison, the Lowell Correctional Institution Boot Camp and the Sumter Boot Camp.

Staff at the facilities slated for closure will be offered jobs at other institutions, prisons officials said.

“This plan is the right thing to do because it will save Florida taxpayers millions of dollars,” Buss said in a release. “The facilities to be closed are older and require more resources to operate than newer institutions. Additionally, this initiative will provide the department with an opportunity to consolidate program resources which will allow for seamless delivery of evidence based programs aimed to reduce recidivism.”

The state prison system currently has a surplus of beds, according to prison officials.

An agency statement said the phase out of the facilities would begin immediately with an eye toward completion at the end of June.

While the administration of Gov. Rick Scott has clashed with legislators over the authority to make certain moves without legislative approval, the chairman of the Senate committee that writes the criminal justice budget said Tuesday that Buss is within his authority to close and consolidate prisons without legislative approval.

Fasano, however, is working on a draft criminal justice budget that contemplates far fewer reductions, cutting 85 positions for a savings of just $5.5 million.

Closure of the facility in Brevard County, which has about 350 employees, may be particularly difficult – the area has been hit hard by the slowdown in the space industry and the end of the space shuttle program. Florida Today newspaper in Melbourne reported that prison officials said only 238 of those workers at the Brevard facility would be offered jobs elsewhere, though many of those jobs may be made empty by attrition.

The department said shuttering the facilities would save $30.8 million this year, and $25 million in out years.

The Legislature is looking to cut $3.6 billion from the current year budget to close a gap between revenue and spending. Lawmakers will get an update Friday on how much revenue is expected to be available, which will be the basis for the budget they’ll write this month and next.

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- March 15, 2011 --

Florida officials say they will close six of the state's correctional facilities for a savings of at least $30 million this year.

A Florida Department of Corrections representative said on
Tuesday that the state is shuttering the Brevard Correctional
Institution in Cocoa and the Hendry Correctional Institution in
Immokalee. It is also closing the Hillsborough Correctional
Institution in Riverview, the Tallahassee Road Prison and the
Lowell and Sumter boot camps. Workers at those locations will be
offered jobs at other facilities and the closings will not result
in the early release of any inmates.

The state now has a surplus of beds that allows inmates to be
moved within the prison system.

All of the shutdowns should be completed by the end of June.


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  • by nurse Location: ga on Jun 16, 2011 at 01:26 PM
    Way to go rick scott, i thought you were going to make jobs not take them, maybe when one of your family members are harmed by an inmate you let out to decrease cost, YOU WILL REALIZE YOUR WRONG
  • by eric on Mar 21, 2011 at 12:39 AM
    The easiest and most efficient way to cut cost would be to change the whole process of classifying and housing inmates. Currently the dpartment has far too many high security institutions, and the higher the security level the higher number of total staff. turn some of these major institutions into work camps and you could cut the staff by half and provide free public works.
  • by john Location: brevard on Mar 17, 2011 at 03:06 PM
    if the state so desparately needs to save money, why not charge the 27,000 highest payed employees for the state insurance premiums the same as us on the bottom. It's shameful that the ones who make the most and can afford it only pay 100 DOLLARS a year for health coverage for them and their family. I pay more per month on my meager salary. With them paying the same as us would generate 52 million dollars a year. Free medical and free dental for the ones with all the money is a slap in the face to all tax payers. I guess when you make the rules you can get away with it.
  • by Susan on Mar 17, 2011 at 02:14 AM
    To this visiting relatives and friends that are incarcerated... Don't you hate the mentality your relative/friend has that you owe them the money? They try to control what others do because they've lost control by being there. They're supposed to be there for punishment. Stop spending your hard-earned money on them. They broke the law, not you.
  • by Quest Location: Everywhere on Mar 16, 2011 at 08:38 PM
    Ponder this: Ban on hiring in the state, but the effected staff will be offered jobs at other locations? If they cannot hire due to the ban, and they are counting those empty positions as ones to reduce state government, this is smoke and mirrors. How many of the effected will be able to drive 50 miles or relocate to another area of the state on the average salary of 35K? Moving from Hendry to Tally is quite a change. Overcrowding, remember we just added 2000 beds at the private Blackwater prison, so lower custody, healthy inmates were moved out of state run facilities. But as usual, many folks who post on this page are blissfully ignorant to the truth. How about asking the employees that are knowledgeable about these issues? Change is needed but be careful what you wish for cause you may not like what you end up with. Most state workers are good people who work hard to provide a service to the citizens of Florida and are tax payers also.
  • by Tom Location: Madison on Mar 16, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    It is about time DOC made some realistic decisions instead of cutting staff at every institution to dangerous levels. I'm sorry for those who are being affected by these changes, but it is necessary...and by the way, I have been a DOC employee for over 10 years. There are still many areas that money can be saved in without cutting staff. Change sucks, but guess what? change is inevitable.
  • by anonymis Location: florida on Mar 16, 2011 at 07:06 PM
    for all family of the incarcerated. All inmates are provided soap,tissue,razor& OTC meds, so why do u need to send $$ for these items?Not to mention all clothing,blanket,sheets,matress,locker & BETTER DENTAL,MEDICAL,&PSYCHOLOGICAL CARE THAN U GET OUTSIDE THE FENCE.We workers are not the enemy..some of us actually care that they go home & make it.;somedays r hard,but we have to keep upbeat to encourage them to be better,for when they do go home,And I personnally want 2 know that former inmates r successfull in all they do. I was not hired to punish them but to help them during their time in. Maybe be a positive influence to them to not come back here.When they follow the rules here they will be better citizens outside the fence.
  • by Cracker Location: Volusia on Mar 16, 2011 at 04:16 PM
    Every body calm down, it will all work out. I have been in this buisness for 28 years. 6 Governors, with a new secretary every time the wind blows. The real officers walk in because your a tuff son of a B_ _ _ _! Hang in there guys and dont let the liberals bring you down. If you bust your A _ _ you will be ok in the long run. Take a trip to The Arnold Palmer Hospital for children in orlando or Shands. We will make it. NEVER WEAKEN!!!
  • by Anonymous on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM
    I don't remember the article stating where the inmates @ those facilities were going. I may be behind,but I thought the prisons were crowded?
  • by @ nOLE on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:11 AM
    Just curious, what is your race? Because anyone against Scott is a racist much like those against Obama. Double Standards.
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