Florida DOC Officers Protest to Stop Privatization of Prisons

By: Teamsters Release
By: Teamsters Release

Tallahassee, Florida - April 26, 2011 -

Eyewitness News will have more on this story later this evening.

Florida Department of Corrections Officers (FDOC) and members of the Teamsters Union today delivered thousands of postcards to state Sen. Mike Haridopolos urging him not to support bills that call for privatizing the state’s prisons.

“These correctional officers and I are here today representing themselves as both public servants and voters,” said retired FDOC Col. William Muse. “Many of these officers drove hours and even worked double shifts to be here today because of the responsibility to our families, their coworkers and our communities to fight the effort to privatize the state's prisons.”

“Corrections officers see firsthand what the state's most violent criminals are capable of and have pride in the job that we do to protect the public despite risks to ourselves,” Col. Muse said. “Protecting our public safety should not be left to private companies that put profits over people. We are urging Senate President Haridopolos and our legislators to be real leaders and stand up to the effort to privatize the state's prisons.”

“Privatizing prisons is bad public policy,” said Teamsters International Vice President Ken Wood, who is also President of Teamsters Local 79 in Tampa and President of Teamsters Joint Council 75. “It will put more communities at risk and not result in savings to taxpayers. The Florida Legislature needs to be focused on the needs of its citizens, not corporate interests.”

The Senate’s proposed $69.8 billion spending plan calls for privatizing many of the state’s prisons. Under Gov. Rick Scott’s two-year budget proposal, 1,690 FDOC jobs will be lost and more than $82.4 million will be cut from the FDOC budget.

The Florida Department of Corrections is the third largest prison system in the nation. The legislature could vote on the bills at any time in the next two weeks.

FDOC Officers also met today with other state legislators urging them not to support measures that would privatize prisons. FDOC Officers are currently working to form a union with the Teamsters.

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  • by Anthony Location: Port Charlotte on May 6, 2011 at 09:51 PM
    saving the state money?? By firing employees and putting them on public dole??? and then paying non-professionals to protect us from these criminals??more forclosures, that's good for the states economy???
  • by Lauren Location: Tampa, Fl on May 1, 2011 at 01:29 PM
    Is this the State's way of paying cheaper for labor than what they're paying COs now. What a bad decision the governor is making!
  • by Karen Location: Florida on Apr 27, 2011 at 03:41 PM
    Good Lord... It seems that no matter the suggestion it's WRONG.... Maybe everyone should get together and find a logical solution to the FL DOC problem... If everyone would actually think for once you would see that placing THE NON VIOLENT ON PAROLE AND MAKE THEM WORK, WOULD CREATE REVENUE AND MORE JOBS IN FLORIDA..
    • reply
      by diane on Apr 27, 2011 at 06:52 PM in reply to Karen
      I cant even get a job with no record. How do you think an inmate is going to get a job with one. You need to work at a prison 1st then you tell me who do you want to let out and move next door to you. Remember NON VIOLENT. I worked in one and didnt see any that I wanted to live next door to me. Non Violent like drug dealers ?
  • by DIANE Location: FL on Apr 27, 2011 at 09:44 AM
    How will this save the State any money when, all the employee's have to go on Unemployment that the State of Fl will have to pay?
  • by Follow the money Location: Tallahassee on Apr 27, 2011 at 08:55 AM
    The second largest corrections company traded on the New York stock exchange is GEO, located in Boca Raton Florida. Putting two and two together, I would wonder who is investing in this firm. I'm sure this company has lobbyists trying to influence the legislature.
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Apr 27, 2011 at 03:04 AM
    Prisons? build em and the people will come.
  • by Brucifer Location: Florida on Apr 26, 2011 at 09:51 PM
    Lake City Correctional Facility is a joke. The inmates run the place. My question to the legislators if the FDC and private contractors are paid the same have the same benefit package, then how can the private contractors make a profit and save the State at least 7%.
  • by i work for privat prison Location: lake city florida on Apr 26, 2011 at 08:27 PM
    Hey guy, I work at a Private prison in Lake city Florida. you do have benefits. I have blue cross and blue shield insurance, cigna dental, vision care eye insurance. its exactly the same as my brother,an assistant warden at a florida prison also. we make really good money. They allow all of the overtime you want. when I first started a few years back, I started at 13.99 an hour until i finished my probation.the shift hours are different. we were five 8 hour days, then we went to 12 hour shifts. 12's are sweet. 3days on, and 4 days off, vice versa the next week. it means everyone gets every other weekend off. It's great.
  • by Quest Location: Everywhere on Apr 26, 2011 at 07:20 PM
    Compare Apples to Apples not lemons. Private prisons due not have the sick, mentally or physically inmates nor the ones that are constantly in trouble, which are cheaper to house. If they have a problem with an inmate they ship him back to the state. Question this when talking about privatization, what type of inmates are housed at Blackwater, South Bay, Moore Haven, Lake City, and Bay CI? Look at their populations and compare them to Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Zephryhills, River Junction, etc. Apples to Oranges. It sounds good because it is truly propaganda. There are other ways to cut the cost of prisons without endangering the public and without privatization. Private Corporations have been tried for years and there is no definitive cost savings that can be measured due to the differences in inmates. Tax payers should ask these questions. Also, inmates prefer private facilities, air conditioning, less rules and other perks that are not punitive. Another question, what is the recidivism rate of a private versus state run facility? Do the research, ask the questions, ponder the issues before decisions are made? Remember these issues when you cast your vote.
  • by BULL Location: FLORIDA on Apr 26, 2011 at 06:03 PM
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