Posts Tagged ‘Department of Corrections’

Before deaths, Gov. Rick Scott and Hollywood nursing home owner were chummy

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Before Gov. Rick Scott and South Florida healthcare mogul Dr. Jack Michel began pointing fingers at each other after elderly patients baked to death in Michel’s now-closed Hollywood nursing home, the two men were pals of a sort.
The post Before deaths, Gov. Rick Scott and Hollywood nursing home owner were chummy appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Lawyers for the state tell Senate committee they need pay raises, too

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
State attorneys and public defenders face off in court, but they agreed on one thing during a meeting Wednesday of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice: Their staff attorneys need pay raises.
Trouble is, committee chairman Aaron Bean isn’t convinced there’ll be enough money to pay for that, as much as he sympathizes.
“The secret is that there’s just not going to be enough money to cover everybody’s requests,” Bean said following the hearing. “That’s why we triage.”
Representatives of an array of state agencies that field attorneys begged the panel for pay raises. Other than state attorneys and public defenders,

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Rick Scott calls for widespread pay raises for corrections officers

Monday, January 30th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott is looking to give Florida corrections officers a pay raise, including $38 million for the state’s prison system in his proposed budget.
Mary Ellen Klas of the Miami Herald reports that the increase, part of the budget Scott will announce Tuesday, is for “officers up to and including the rank of captain.”
Also, Scott wants to offer a $1, 000 signing bonus to new officers at certain understaffed prisons, and boost pay for officers at prison mental-health units. If approved, that combined program could cost taxpayers about $7.5 million.
Florida’s prison system, one of the most violent in the

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After Asay decision, anti-death penalty advocates call for commutations

Friday, December 23rd, 2016
The state’s leading death penalty opposition group is calling for more than 200 Florida death row inmates to have their sentences reduced to life imprisonment.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP) says a Florida Supreme Court decision on convicted killer Mark Asay out Thursday means that many are “entitled to be resentenced.”
The court determined that this year’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion, Hurst v. Florida, requiring Florida juries—not judges—”to (determine) the facts necessary to sentence a defendant to death” does not apply retroactively to Asay and many others.
But the opinion can be retroactive for certain death-sentenced inmates whose “cases

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There oughta be a T-shirt for the David Richardson Tour

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

State Representative — and glutton for punishment — David Richardson (D-Miami Beach) brought his lonely crusade for improved prison infrastructure to the Columbia Correctional Institution on Thanksgiving Eve, giving inmates and guards the rare gift of something to be grateful for.
Florida’s correctional facilities have been decaying for decades, out of sight and out of mind except when there’s a riot, or bad publicity, or bad publicity caused by a riot.
Self-styled “one-man band” Richardson has taken it upon himself to change the public attention paradigm with a series of surprise visits to the decrepit, dangerous Big Houses located in places few

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Dep’t of Corrections strikes back against POLITICO over transitional programs

Friday, October 21st, 2016
The Department of Corrections on Thursday released a knockdown of a damning report by POLITICO Florida that said it misled the public about plans to eliminate transitional programs for prisoners and probationers.
Corrections’ rebuttal was nearly 1,200 words; POLITICO’s story was about 1,500 words.
Gov. Rick Scott‘s administration has frequently employed the PR tactic of discrediting such investigative reports, issuing lengthy emails titled “Setting the Record Straight” when faced with negative coverage.
The first paragraph of POLITICO’s story, which came out Wednesday, sums it up:
“Recently released depositions and state data show the Florida Department of Corrections has made misleading statements, and is using a misleading

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GEO Group says it’s not interested in Fla. reentry services

Friday, October 14th, 2016
Private prison operator The GEO Group says it has “no plans” to provide prisoner reentry services in Florida.
Spokesman Pablo E. Paez responded Friday to a FloridaPolitics.com report this week on nonprofit groups saying the Department of Corrections was shutting them out of continuing to help inmates and probationers readjust to life “outside the walls.”

Bridges of America CEO Lori Costantino-Brown and other nonprofit heads held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee.
Costantino-Brown was asked about GEO Group’s annual report, which mentions the company’s “commitment to be the world’s leading provider of offender rehabilitation and community re-entry programs,” and whether the company was influencing the state’s decision making.
Costantino-Brown said she

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GEO Group says it’s not interested in Fla. reentry services

Friday, October 14th, 2016
Private prison operator The GEO Group says it has “no plans” to provide prisoner reentry services in Florida.
Spokesman Pablo E. Paez responded Friday to a FloridaPolitics.com report this week on nonprofit groups saying the Department of Corrections was shutting them out of continuing to help inmates and probationers readjust to life “outside the walls.”

Bridges of America CEO Lori Costantino-Brown and other nonprofit heads held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee.
Costantino-Brown was asked about GEO Group’s annual report, which mentions the company’s “commitment to be the world’s leading provider of offender rehabilitation and community re-entry programs,” and whether the company was influencing the state’s decision making.
Costantino-Brown said she

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Corrections says ‘we are not limiting services’ to inmates

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
A Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Thursday said speculation about private prison operator The GEO Group muscling out nonprofits that run rehab and re-entry programs in the state “is false.”
Spokeswoman Michelle Glady responded to a FloridaPolitics.com report earlier in the day.
In a press conference, nonprofit heads said the department was shutting down programs that help ex-cons with drug abuse and other problems as they re-enter society, or as one advocate called it, “getting the prison out of the person.”
Bridges of America president and CEO Lori Constantino-Brown said its Orlando facility is the latest on the hit list.
She couldn’t say what was motivating the shutdowns other than

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“No evidence” GEO Group behind prisoner rehab grab

Thursday, October 13th, 2016
The head of a nonprofit that runs prisoner reentry programs in the state said she had “no evidence” her group and others were being muscled out by private prison operator The GEO Group.
Lori Constantino-Brown, president and CEO of Orlando-based Bridges of America, held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee with other care providers.
The Department of Corrections has been targeting Bridges in particular as it winds up outside transitional programs for the state’s inmates and probationers. Bridges’ Orlando facility is the latest on the hit list.
Constantino-Brown couldn’t say what was motivating the shutdowns other than a push to consolidate the state’s reentry

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Dept of Corrections, Bridges of America battling again over inmate programs

Monday, September 26th, 2016
The state’s Department of Corrections and Bridges of America, an Orlando-based nonprofit, are once more warring over transitional programs for the state’s inmates.
On Monday morning, Bridges representatives and supporters say they will rally at the organization’s Orlando Transition Center “to respond to (DOC’s) plans to shut the center down,” the group said.
Lori Constantino-Brown, president and CEO of Bridges, explained in an open letter that the prisons agency wants “to move 688 community-based substance abuse beds from community facilities back behind prison walls.”
The Orlando Transition Center “houses and treats 136 transitioning and community release inmates.”
“Moving these beds back into

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