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An attempt by state Sen. Mike Fasano to halt the Florida Senate’s push to privatize 27 Florida prisons failed today.
Fasano, R-New Port Richey, had introduced an amendment that would have stricken the state’s plans to privatize prisons and instead required the Legislature to “conduct a thorough and complete financial impact analysis of the costs and benefits of privatizing and closing prisons in this state.” Fasano has said many times that he believes not enough is known about the fiscal impact of the state’s plans, and he has pushed for leaders in the Senate to slow down the process.
“This is a major policy decision and there has been no analysis done,” Fasano told his colleagues on the Senate floor.
Originally posted by Afterthought
I see nothing good coming out of privatizing prisons
Florida is Leader
Florida in 1981 became the first state to contract out the entire state prison industry to private management. Prison Rehabilitative Industries & Diversified Enterprises Inc. (PRIDE), a firm based in Clearwater, Florida, now manages all 53 Florida prison work programs as a for profit operation. PRIDE made a $4 million profit last year. Many states considering privatization of prison industries are studying the PRIDEoperation. PRIDE employs only inmates who want to work. As such, work is viewed as an opportunity rather than a punishment. PRIDE pays 60 percent of the workers' wages directly to the state government to defray the costs of imprisonment. PRIDE products, which range from optical and dental items to modular office systems, are sold to the local and state government agencies.
Colorado, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah already have passed enabling legislation to privatize the operation of prisons. States considering legislation are Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota.Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), based in Nashville, Tennessee, and founded in 1983, is the largest private corrections organization in the country. A spinoff of Hospital Corporation of America, CCA designs, constructs, finances, and manages both secure and non-secure facilities. In addition to operating two juvenile centers and a county prison in Hamilton County, Tennessee, CCA also contracts with Florida, New Mexico, and Texas.In 1985, CCA proposed to operate the entire Tennessee state correctional system for 99 years. Governor Lamar Alexander supported the idea. It was blocked, however, by lobbying by some state officials and groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Nevertheless, CCA continues to be the nation's leading innovator of private prison operations and is expanding its marketing activities in Iowa, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.Also located in Tennessee is Pricor Corporation, a competitor of CCA. Pricor operates a juvenile detention center in Johnson City, Tennessee, a 144 bed prison in Alabama, and a county jail in Maine.
Fasano warned his colleagues that they were “moving this thing forward too fast”