Posts Tagged ‘Julie Jones’

Florida prison chief: State losing corrections staff to ‘Wal-Mart,’ creating insecurity in system

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
More than three-quarters of Florida’s corrections officers have less than two years’ experience. In some state prisons, a single CO will be left alone to supervise 150-200 inmates in a jail block.
Contraband has become so bad, one random search of (just half) a Dade facility turned up $15,000 in street value of cocaine, seven knives, 46 cellphones and an array of other drugs and illicit materials, said Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones Thursday.
The state’s prisons chief was in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, having to explain just how bad the situation was, even though the state’s inmate population

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Sean Shaw and Darryl Rouson attempt to deal with Florida’s ban on voting rights for ex-felons on the front end

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Under current Florida law, those who are convicted of any felony lose the right to vote, the right to sit on a jury, the right to hold public office, and the right to possess a firearm, unless they are granted the restoration of their civil rights by the state Office of Executive Clemency.
Legislation being sponsored by Tampa Bay area Democrats Darryl Rouson and Sean Shaw would end the automatic suspension of civil rights for those convicted of a non-violent felony.
“Even if the sentence has been served, a felony conviction in the State of Florida is a lifelong punishment,” says House District 59 Representative Sean Shaw

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Lawsuit against Rick Scott and clemency board seeks to restore former felons’ voting rights

Monday, March 13th, 2017
A class action lawsuit filed on Monday aims to automatically restore former felons’ voting rights and eliminate Florida’s rights restoration process, considered one of the most onerous in the nation.
The lawsuit was filed by the Fair Elections Legal Network and the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC on behalf of seven former felons. It targets all four members of the Cabinet, and six other state officials, including Secretary of State Ken Detzner and Dept. of Corrections head Julie Jones.
Florida is one of just a handful of states that does not automatically restore voting rights once a felon has paid his or her

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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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Julie Jones says prisons need higher pay to stop ‘churn in the hiring’

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016
Turnover of staff at Florida’s prisons is so high that a substantial majority of guards in some prisons have less than two years experience, Corrections Secretary Julie Jones said Wednesday before the Senate Criminal Justice Appropriations Subcommittee.
Jones was at the subcommittee’s introductory meeting to push hers’ and Gov. Rick Scott administration’s priorities. They start with pay increases to attempt to boost recruitment and retention in prisons where guards can make less than $30,000 a year right now.
Jones outlined her top priority as a safety and security issue, arguing the inexperienced staff can lack the savvy needed to keep the system

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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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Jerry Demings urges state to keep open community facilities

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings on Tuesday urged state officials to reconsider their decision to close community-based transition centers.
Demings, a Democrat seeking re-election this fall, was responding to reports that the Florida Department of Corrections intends to close the Orlando Transition Center and others around that state, eliminating 688 community-based substance abuse treatment beds.
“Research indicates that this method of treatment has been effective at reducing recidivism for offending and drug use,” Demings said in a statement issued Tuesday. “Placing low-level offenders back behind prison walls increases the cost to Florida taxpayers of substance abuse treatment and incarceration of offenders.

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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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