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Scott admin bans smoking in prisons

by Dara Kam | March 14th, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott’s administration is snuffing out smoking in prisons, saying the habit cost taxpayers $9 million in smoking-related prisoner illnesses last year.

Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss said in a press release this morning he’s giving inmates six months to quit before the smoking ban goes into effect. The department will offer smoking cessation programs to inmates asking for help quitting, according to the release.

Prison workers will be allowed to smoke in designated areas outside the prison fences.

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80 Responses to “Scott admin bans smoking in prisons”

  1. Oh, Florida Says:

    Don’t worry Ricky Boy, Federal Prisons already have instituted NO SMOKING policies so you won’t have to worry about your future cell smelling gross.

  2. TED Says:

    this thief and fraud didn’t give a rats a*# about taxpayers while his company was ripping off medicare for billions. wake up neighbors. a narcissist on a slash and burn war against working people

  3. klm Says:

    Oh, Florida.. pray tell, what crime is the Governor supposedly going to jail for?

  4. Jim Says:

    Kim, It’s called Fraud. Against Medicare. Guess you don’t research your candidates before voting either.

  5. ban Says:

    Protect inmates from cigarettes ? Why not protect EVERYONE from cigarettes, the non-prison population must cost the state BILLIONS?

    And why not BAN OXY PILL MILLS selling FDA approved quasi-heroin that kills free citizens every day?

    Why are the Pill Mills not banned.

  6. Good Move Says:

    I’m starting to like this guy – he’s kicking butt.

  7. Really Says:

    I really think Scott is on something and this type of tracking may exposed him…the man can barely stand still for 2 seconds. He’s on something!

  8. adult Says:

    opiate use creates cash flow in scott’s businesses.

  9. Tom Says:

    And how much does a prison riot cost the taxpayers I wonder?

  10. ozmo Says:

    Scott thinks he a god because he stole hundreds of millions in the biggest health care fraud in US history and did not go to trial or prison? He knows he is guilty and feels blessed. We need honest white collar crime laws and punishment so scum like Scott cannot use his fortune to destroy our democracy.

  11. dmc Says:

    Good idea but the staff at the prisons should not be allowed to smoke either, just like at most places of employment!

  12. Tea Lady Says:

    How refreshing! Governor Scott is wasting no time in moving forward with the mandate for which he was elected.

    We The People have spoken, and we want reduced government spending! And We Tea Partiers will be watching to see that we continue to make progress!

    Let the Sunshine return to Florida!

  13. bs Says:

    And Gov Rick, what about the illegals that cost the taxpayers BILLIONS every year for all kinds of services INCLUDING Medicaid/Medicare. Oh, that’s right, you would benefit from the last one. You’re a crook!!!!!

  14. LRT Says:

    Inmates pay double for everything in prison….or should I say, their family’s do.
    The money the state makes on prison phones…covered that 9 million.
    I am curious how much the state made last year in cigarette sales?

  15. rufus Says:

    dont be breakin da law if yo want to smoke..Hear now?

  16. jaded Says:

    Dumbest thread i have ever read.

  17. Roamer Says:

    Finally!! This is the first thing Scott has done that I agree with.
    He could make it two things if he turned all of his assets over to a blind trust instead of his wife.

  18. Leon Lowry Says:

    Buy stock in GEO Group now!

  19. AWESOME! Says:

    *** THIS IS GREAT FOR MANY REASONS INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO WILL DIE AS A RESULT OF SECONDHAND SMOKE WHEN THEY THEMSELVES DO NOT SMOKE…AND FOR ANYONE WHO THINKS RICK SCOTT BROKE THE LAW HE WAS NEVER CHARGED AND AN INVESTIGATION PROVED THAT HE COULD NOT HAVE KNOWN ABOUT THE FRAUD…TRUST ME, FOLKS, IF THE DEMOCRAT FEDERAL INVESTIGATIONS TEAM CANNOT INDICT A REPUBLICAN THERE IS NO LAW BROKEN, PERIOD. ***

  20. Louie Says:

    Ironic how they can’t smoke in prison….
    But they can buy all the Oxycodone from all the Pill Mills they want to, in order to get arrested and end up in prison.

  21. Truth Seeker Says:

    Correction for all about Scott is not making money, he transfer ownership to his wife (heavy sarcasm added) Wonder who is going to run smoking cessation policies & how much that is gonna cost?

  22. angela Says:

    I agree 100% with Gov Scott. Great idea. Plus they have six months to give it up. As a smoker myself, I know its tough to give up smoking but somebody’s gotta get tough and that’s Gov Rick Scott. They’ll thank him later for helping them quit.

  23. Tim Says:

    Just a month and a half on the job, and already the winds of a recall are swirling around Gov. Rick Scott.

    The governor has made some enemies in the state capitol, and many are his fellow Republicans in the legislature.

    As the rift continues to widen, Scott’s ability to get things done may start to weaken.

    Scott arrived in Tallahassee as an outsider and a man with no political experience, who was determined to change government as we know it.

    First, he rolled out a controversial budget, cutting everything from education to prisons.

    “My job is to represent the taxpayers of this state, and I’m not comfortable that this is a project that we ought to be doing,” Scott said.

    The governor’s rejection of federal funding for high-speed rail opened up a new and very public divide with dozens of powerful Republican lawmakers.

    They’re making it clear they intend to overrule Scott and House Democratic leader Rep. Ron Saunders couldn’t be happier.

    “It seems that lately that we’ve been in agreement more with our Republican colleagues against the governor’s positions, (be)cause when he came out with his budget, for example, even Republican legislators found it too draconian,” Saunders said.

    Join the effort to recall this teabagging crook!!!

  24. Richard Says:

    I wonder how many millions it cost the tax payers for the obese people that don`t know when to stop eating. How about all the children born to people that can`t afford them and then you have all the illegals.

  25. peter Says:

    if i cant smoke in public places why can they,why should they have more rights than the law abideing citizens,bad enough they lay around watching big screen tv’s all day with three squares a day at tax payers expense,while smokers [at home or at work cant work] for the palm beach county tax collector

  26. AWESOME! Says:

    *** HE’LL NEVER BE RECALLED – THE DEMOCRATS IN THIS COUNTRY SEEM TO THINK THAT THE MINUTE THE REPUBLICANS DO SOMETHING THAT THEY DO NOT LIKE THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO BE RECALLED…THIS IS LIKE THE 14 DEMOCRATS IN WISCONSIN WHO SIMPLY WENT ON VACATION FOR THREE WEEKS AT THE EXPENSE OF TAXPAYERS AND KEPT TAKING THEIR PAYCHECKS…WHEN THEY FOUND OUT THAT LEGISLATIVE BUSINESS PROCEEDED WITHOUT THEM ALL OF A SUDDEN DEMOCRATS ARE YELLING “RECALL THE REPUBLICANS!”…IT IS JUST STUPID…RICK SCOTT WAS ELECTED BECAUSE THE DEMOCRATS ARE RUINING THIS COUNTRY…LOVE HOW OBAMA SPENT THE LAST TWO WEEKENDS – LONG WEEKENDS INCLUDING FRIDAYS – GOLFING WHILE THE MIDDLE EAST EXPLODES AND JAPAN MELTS DOWN…CANNOT WAIT FOR 2012 SO WE CAN “RECALL” OBAMA WHO DOES NOTHING BUT GOLF AND SPEND INVISIBLE MONEY. ***

  27. rukiddingme? Says:

    Way to go Rick Scott! Continue to do what you were elected to do…cut wasteful spending at the state level. No charges were ever filed against this man, but that wont stop the bleedingheart dumba*s liberals from attempting to divert attention from the progress being made. A word to the democrats (taking a line from the messiah who is very temporarily living in the White House)…”we won you lost, get over it.”

  28. peter Says:

    to tim:: refuseing feds funds for hispeed train was right thing to do tax payers do not need another loseing project, and he is right telling them we need the $$$ to improve our ports to create real jobs that produce not drain the states coffers with govt employees the ports would create private sector jobs!!!!

  29. seraphimrose Says:

    Okay so we ban smoking in prison…so they get healthier and live longer…at a cost of about $60,000 a year to house an inmate…so really this is saving what? LOL Laughable!

  30. Kevin Says:

    As much as I can’t stand this man I think this is an idea that should have been put into place years ago. I would make it effective immediately though. It would be the same if you were a smoker and got arrested 6 months from now. You will be going cold turkey when you are put in jail anyway. Give them a few nicotine patches and be done with it. As silly as it sounds it may also serve as a crime deterrent.

  31. once republican Says:

    Kim, it’s called crimes of greed that will eventually put Scott behind bars. Lets face he has a criminal track record and somehow bought himself out of it. Lady lucks doesn’t stick around forever.

  32. James Says:

    Take away the state retirement fund next.Make them pay for there own retirement fund.Why should we give state workers a retirement fund just because of the time spent on the job.

  33. PBC Resident Says:

    Prisoners have given up their rights when they did crime. Smoking is a pleasure which should be taking away when you are in prison.

    HOWEVER, it does show what a hypocrite Scott is. He is saying the ban is to protect the health of the prisoner so health care costs will lower. That’s similar to how Obama says we should all have insurance because it will reduce our costs.

    While I agree with a smoking ban for prisoners, I disagree with them elsewhere. Private businesses should be able to allow smoking. Private citizens should be able to smoke in parks, beaches and other open spaces.

    It’s ironic that many of these prisoners are there because we made drugs illegal. Because they smoked marijuana, we now pay for years of their care. Abolish these dumb laws and we won’t have the costs…..

  34. Citizen X Says:

    Rick the Thief Scott is prime for a HONEST SERVICES law investigation. The SCOTUS ruled last year (9-0) that the law stands where it can be proven that the public official enriched himself at the expense of the public. This idea of putting his clinics in his wife’s name while the clinics do business with Florida may skirt state laws but the HONEST SERVICES law is Federal.

  35. Lisa Says:

    It’s about time a friend of mine has a 16 yr old that was charged as an adult he was sent to Indian River C.I. that houses offenders ages 14 to 19 and when they turn 18 they are allowed to smoke. So I wonder many 14 15 16 and 17 yr olds are getting cigs from the 18 and 19 yr olds.Her son went in there not smoking. Hopefully he does’nt come out smoking or there might be a law suit there.

  36. Lisa Says:

    I THINK THAT IS THE ONLY THING RICK SCOTT HAS DONE THAT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. I DON’T KNOW WHAT HE’S THINKING ABOUT NOT DOING THE DRUG DATA BASE BUT I BET IF ONE OF HIS KIDS OR OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS BECOME ADDICTS MAYBE HE WILL DO SOMETHING THEN. IT SEEMS IT’S ALL ABOUT HIMSELF.

  37. Lady4Liberty Says:

    if things keep up, I may have to go to prison to get some decent health care myself.

  38. Penny Deutsch Says:

    Why would the governor institute no smoking rules for prisoners for their health and not institute the same rules for guards; or is their health unimportant?

  39. hedlykarok Says:

    Ugghhh…me t-bagger…smoke bad, anal rape Ok….
    me t-bagger…me want freedom…for me only…ugghh

  40. BULL Says:

    Oh how I hope that some criminal takes this criminal out!

  41. Big Johnson Says:

    @James – Take away the state pension fund and increase the pay for state workers to match what their contemporaries in the private sector make and you’ll be paying more than you were in the first place. How about stop paying the medical and dental insurance premiums for state management level employees and make them pay for them like the rank and file? Now that would be fair and save scads of money.

  42. Truth Seeker Says:

    James,
    Are you serious? Let me try to simplify. Retirement is part of the State’s current pay package. Same as any business. A business offers a job & a person accepts a job based on the total compensation. Salary, health, pension and other fringes When considering a government job many gave up current salary knowing that they had retirement plan for the future. My current employer had to offer considerable more in salary for a job without a retirement plan to entice me from a job with retirement benefits.

    to borrow a phases from the 10 commandments that i beleive is veery fitting latley ‘thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s retirement plan”

  43. Big Johnson Says:

    @Awesome – Short memory? The republicans did the same thing in Texas a few years ago and fled to Oklahoma to avoid legislation they did not like. Troopers were sent to get them. Also, didn’t republicans create the special prosecutor’s office to impeach Bill Clinton and then abolish it when GW was elected? GW committed quite a few impeachable offenses, where was the outrage then? Rick Scott is out of control with no plan to deal with his cuts. His mantra is, you’ll just have to figure out how to make it work with less. Absolutely no leadership has been demonstrated so far, just the ability to wield a big red pen. (By the way, I am a 40+ year republican).

  44. Kevin Says:

    Gov.Scott who never heard of em lol :-)

  45. Huh?! Says:

    You folks are missing the obvious here…..

    “The department will offer smoking cessation programs to inmates asking for help quitting, according to the release.”

    Where, oh where can we find some health care supplier to do these programs? Oh be still my beating heart, we just *happen* to have a governor who might know someone who can rip us off… Um, I mean help with this.

  46. oreally Says:

    Now all he has to do is set up drug treatment programs in prison. The legislature. Could help the prison problem by reducing or eliminating drug crime. Send them to treatment instead.

  47. Big Johnson Says:

    @Huh? – Exactly, I caught that right away. Cut the government health care programs and divert everyone to private plans provided by… you guessed it, Mrs. Scott’s healthcare holdings.

  48. IGotIt Says:

    @Huh? and Big Johnson – this is where it starts, in his campaing ads he plans to drug test welfare recipients too…no doubt Mrs. Scott knows just the people to administer that one too.

  49. larry Says:

    its about time someone took charge of things. Why should we make life easy for people in prison?

  50. The Educator not in prison. Says:

    I concur with Larry.

    I would also get rid of the A/C, and TV.

  51. bs Says:

    @Huh?-Got that right!!! Where are the big gun totin thugs that don’t have any regard for human life? Yeah, we’ll help you quit smoking! With what!!? Yep, DRUGS, and there’s no database :) !!! And hallelujah, I WIN!!! Aren’t ya happy now?

  52. bubba Says:

    Bring on the chain gang-let em smoke, work hard & die young! Problem solved. less tax dollars spent on them and their working for their living!

  53. DannyK Says:

    Smoking is already not allowed in any enclosed indoor workplaces in Florida by law, except for bars. So, prisoners and prison workers already shouldn’t have been smoking in any indoor areas.

  54. hate the Government Says:

    Those who voted for this jerk is the ones he’s hurting…. I hate Rick Scott he is just another A**hole who has billions from stealing from us people who try to make a honest living, so back to stealing i go guess i won’t be able to smoke in jail so i better smoke it all up now…. P.S. Mr.Scott do you have any oxcodone i can use?????? A**wipe

  55. tj Says:

    The guards have the same rule you idiots that keep saying they dont! They can not smoke on the institutional grounds(THE PRISON) if they want to smoke they will have to go out the gate to do so, and if any of you know how much of a hassle it is to go in and out of the front gates that is enough to deter an officer from taking too many breaks!

  56. Smart Man Says:

    Ricky Dicky knows he’s going down sooner of later…so he is not wasting time making prison a healthy place to live.

  57. Tender Foot Says:

    I hope he outlaws the practice of slamming the scrotum sac against another man’s prostate. It’s not very healthy or normal for that matter.

  58. Voice of Reason Says:

    “Prison workers will be allowed to smoke in designated areas outside the prison fences.” So are they going to let prisoners go “outside the prison fences” to have a smoke? Of course not!!! What a laugh – terrible editing of this story!

  59. cj Says:

    Well they do not have to worry about raises as the guards will make money selling smokes. Wait till he starts paying the electrician bills as the inmates will try to use the electrical outlets to lit contraband smokes.

  60. Smoke EM Says:

    Just wait until those behind bars start getting a little testy not being able to light up. Get ready for riots and lockdowns. Guards get ready to suit up it’s going down! Send Rick Scott in there to calm em down… HaHA… Yeah OK!

  61. tj Says:

    TO: “voice of reason”
    Guess what moron, smoking unfortunately is still legal in this country, so the officers still have a RIGHT to smoke! The prisoners are just that PRISONERS, they gave up there right! If you want to smoke dont go to prison idiot!

  62. ralph Says:

    what next?

    cut out prisoners’ conjugal visits, color TV and A/C??

  63. ralph Says:

    …wait, I am recalling that last comment!

    delete it as abusive self-flagellation’

    WHAT!! They just took my color TV, turned off the A/C and told my baby momma and my boyfriend thay were through with me??

    Oh no, Mr. Bill what will I do now??

  64. Innocent until proven guilty Says:

    Rick Scott was never charged with a crime,
    Michael Jackson was found not guilty of Child molestation….. Just saying….

  65. EL Says:

    ALL THE PEOPLE THAT SUPPORT RICK SCOTT AND VOTED FOR HIM ARE IDIOTS!!!

    Columbia/HCA fraud case details

    On March 19, 1997, investigators from the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Health and Human Services served search warrants at Columbia/HCA facilities in El Paso and on dozens of doctors with suspected ties to the company.[19]

    Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO.[20] He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million.[21][22][23]

    In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.

    In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA plead guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in the largest fraud settlement in US history. Columbia/HCA admitted systematically overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable, by striking illegal deals with home care agencies, and by filing false data about use of hospital space. They also admitted fraudulently billing Medicare and other health programs by inflating the seriousness of diagnoses and to giving doctors partnerships in company hospitals as a kickback for the doctors referring patients to HCA. They filed false cost reports, fraudulently billing Medicare for home health care workers, and paid kickbacks in the sale of home health agencies and to doctors to refer patients. In addition, they gave doctors “loans” never intending to be repaid, free rent, free office furniture, and free drugs from hospital pharmacies.[3][4][5][6][7]

    In late 2002, HCA agreed to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.[24] In all, civil law suits cost HCA more than $2 billion to settle, by far the largest fraud settlement in US history.[25]

    DOCUMENTED BY WIKIPEDIA NUMB NUTS!!!

  66. LicensedToSteal Says:

    @EL

    Save it. I believe those that voted for Scott really do not care about business ehtics or this man’s unethical past.

    I am all for cutting government and spending, but I need to know a good person is leading this state. For me, ethics is numero uno.

  67. Iffy Says:

    I have to say that he got this one right. Non-smoking prisoners’ rights are being infringed upon when smokers light up. Do I think it’s really going to save the state any money? No, but it looks good on paper.

  68. seraphimrose Says:

    ha ha state retirement. First of all, a state worker is the lowest paid government worker in Florida. City and county employees make alot more per year. Second of all, our Governor is a criminal and should be prosecuted like anyone else that stole billions from medicare. And third of all…what will inmates have to bargain with if not cigs? LOL Still, it will cost more to tame a prison riot and cost more to keep healthy inmates imprisoned per year than to let them smoke! Nice …Florida…where our prison inmates are healthy and live longer for us to take care of longer…jeez! How dumb is this? With so much going on in this state..really..our criminal governor does this? This is what is important? Give me a break!

  69. concerned Says:

    Let me clear some things up:

    Inmates incarcerated in the state of Florida can not smoke inside of a building, neither can staff. There are designated smoking areas on the compounds.

    Inmates purchase their tobacco from a company called Keefe. A private company that offers canteens goods.

    Inmates don’t cease being criminals inside of prison, they learn how to be better criminals.

    They will get tobacco just like they get marijuana, pills, cocaine, cell phones, weapons, and now synthetic drugs. It will be smuggled in by dirty staff, inmates, and visitors.

    This will only get worse when the GREAT
    RICK SCOTT cuts pay and pension for Correctional Officers.

    This will also cost the state more and will keep inmates in the system longer. Why? Because most inmates earn gain time for good behavior and lose gain time for bad behavior. So we will be keeping inmates longer because they aren’t going to stop smoking.

    Here’s an idea. Charge inmates more for their healthcare, charge them for food, charge them for clothing. Charge them rent. Some of these inmates spend hundreds on canteen items (food, tobacco, etc) Start making them pay the state!!!

    It will also cost the state when riots break out over no tobacco. People serving life sentences don’t care about smoking cessation. People serving one year sentences dont care about smoking cessation.

    Thank you Rick Scott for making a CO’s job harder.

  70. Girl Says:

    Inmates may not riot but you can bet we will see an increase in injuries due to fights. Tensions are already extremely high in a prison, take cigs away and those barely keeping it in check will no longer have that vice/coping mechanism. Inmates pay for their cigs, will they pay for the pysch meds 85% of them will want/demand if forced to stop smoking? Or will that just roll into and increase the millions DOC, I mean tax payers, already pays for medications for inmates? Officers and other staff work in a very high risk environment, surrounded by the worst of the worst of society, it will be even more tense and scarier for employees who are already grossly outnumbered by inmates, once this ban goes into effect Not sure I want to encounter an angry inmate, who has refused his pysch meds for a few days and is jonesing for a cig, when I walk across the compound. Not sure I understand how this situation is going to make it safer for me, physical assult or second hand smoke….hummm…let me think about this

  71. Girl Says:

    Concerned is right, inmates should pay more than they do for their care and support. Tax payers should take a serious look at how much is being spent on inmates for medications, health care, mental health care and dental. DOC Employees pay hefty premiums and copays for their care. If they pass the $5,000 cap on employee insurance per yr I wonder if they will do the same with the inmates?

  72. John J. Pecchio Says:

    WORKING IN AN ALL MALE MAXIMUM-SECURITY PRISON FOR
    25 YEARS I UNDERSTAND WHY PRISONS ARE FAILING?

    IT ALL STARTS WITH OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM TURNING THESE INSTITUTIONS INTO PLAYGROUNDS FOR CRIMINAL’S RIGHTS; SUPPORTING HARDCORE CRIMINALS WHO THRIVE ON ACTING LIKE PSYCHOPATHIC MONSTERS AND PREHISTORIC MAN EXISTING ALL OVER AGAIN.

    This article will inform the mind and startle the soul. Crime and punishment in this country is out of control. Many are in agreement in, how lawmakers and prison bureaucrats are controlling our modern prisons, and turning them into political arenas that operate like a circus of shams and charades.

    When we started building modern prisons in the 1800s, air, food and space was all that the constitution called for when incarcerating criminals. It was understood that prisons were built to punish criminals for their crimes and reform them to live productive lives.

    For two-centuries in this country, we have been processing criminals in our Judicial-System and building prisons to punish criminals. And in all that time, I am appalled, how lawmakers have not revised the system to correct the lack of administrative and prisoner discipline. Nor impeach those who are still contaminating our prison with flaws, embedding them with unthinking, unknowing or corrupted officials and political bureaucrats.

    When politicians run for public office they want to impress taxpayers with solutions to lower the deficit, stabilize taxes and protect public safety. I realize that most politicians have never seen the inside of a prison and the ones who have been were short visit and shown the best parts. It’s appalling and a shameful act, the way so many political officials come into office and start abusing tax-dollars and the legal system by clamming, that closing prisons will lower the deficit. When in fact; it will increases prison violence, spending and crime rate.

    Federal and State Prisons have deteriorated to their worst condition in the history of these institutions? They have changed from being run with dignity and strong security into a hellish nightmare where corruption is the norm. With the loss of positive leadership in our prisons came the increase of prisoner’s power, primarily caused by their ability to hide behind highly-defended “Civil Rights”, which has now taken precedence above all else. These rights allowed them to live without fear of strong retribution for their actions, thereby leading to a breakdown in inmate behavior and resulting in riots, fights, and physical and verbal abuse of prison workers.

    The recidivism rates are now at the highest point in prison history. Prison bureaucrats know that approximately 70% and 80% of repeat felons’ including 90% of pedophiles and sex-offenders are returning in one-to three-years committing the same crimes, which is a sure sign of a failing prison system.

    After working in a maximum-security prison for almost three-decades, it’s my firm conviction that “The criminal mind never sleeps”. Our Justice System processes so many criminals throughout the prison systems at taxpayers’ expense, and they still continue to rebel against the system by violating prison rules and regulations, breaking laws and committing more crimes.

    Each year, taxpayers’ are spending over $450-billion dollars on our Justice System to fighting crime in this country, and approximately $50-billion dollars of that money is spend on the Department of Corrections.

    In 1966 when I started working in the prison system our prison security was intact and ran well because administrators were in control. Three years later we started getting a new breed of administrators from Central Office, (the main headquarters for all prisons in the state) they were politically orientated, inexperienced, arrogant and controlling. Their goals were plain and simple; they worried more about pleasing their superiors and prisoner’s rights then prison safety. That was the beginning of how our prisons went from good to bad and ugly in the last several decades.

    In today’s prisons the lack of prison security has diminished. The security correctional officers, who were the backbone of the prison system, have now been downgraded to glorified babysitters. Now prison staff is forced to move daily between freedom and captivity while walking a delicate line between administrative politics and the threat of inmate violence.

    I was a vocational instructor working and supervising murderers, rapist, pedophiles, and drug-pushers and mentally unstable prisoners. My vocational shop was dangerously filled with trade tools, including shape knives, screwdrivers and machineries. The new administrators ignored security procedures and removed the security officer from all the vocational shops and tripled their workload to patrol several shops a day, which left me without security for several hours. Needless to say, my inmates became reckless and became a security risk. These new administrators and prison security put me in life-threatening situations. The inevitable happened. Several inmates begin challenging me and setting me up to be harmed. The leader of the gang started pressuring me and violating prison rules and regulations to impress other inmates. He was a mass-murderer serving two-life-terms for killing several people.

    I had written several misbehavior reports when locking this inmate up. Most of those reports were downplayed by prison security leaders because of pressure from above to have fewer incidents and look good to Central Office and feared they would violate prisoner’s rights. Within the month the same inmate wrote a threatening letter to security heads and the superintendent, quote. “Take me out of Pecchio shop or there will be trouble” unquote. I was never warned of the inmate’s letter nor were my misbehavior reports taken seriously.

    As expected, this 280 pound muscular inmate charged me from behind and brutally attacked me. With blood pouring down the side of my face where he hit me, he then picked me up and threw me hard against a 600 pound steel machine; I hit it with such force it moved. I then fell hard to the concrete floor next to my desk on a platform. When he stopped punching me for a few seconds and turned towards the door I reached up with one arm and knocked the phone off the hook and that alerted security. They rushed in and took control. Both the inmate and I were medically treated in the facility hospital. He was taken to the guardhouse and I was transported to the outside hospital for further medical treatment.
    Then several months later, a jury trial found this inmate guilty and added a three-to-seven-years sentence to his two life terms. I was put on a medical disability for the rest of my life. This traumatic experience was caused by a failing prison system.

    MY BOOK TITLES SAY IT ALL. IT IS TIME TO ACT AND I HOPE THE DIVERSITY OF MY TRUE, COMPELLING AND GRIPPING STORIES WILL BE A POSITIVE INSTRUMENT IN PRISON REFORM. “HELL BEHIND PRISON WALLS” WAS MY FIRST BOOK, WHICH IS MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF WORKING IN THE PRISON SYSTEM.

    MY SECOND BOOK “THE DEVIL’S DEN OF PRISON AND JUSTICE” IS A LOOK AT HOW PRISONS ARE STILL FAILING WHILE TAXPAYERS ARE SUPPORTING THE HIGHEST INCARCERATION RATE, WITH THE MOST SERIAL-KILLER IN THE WORLD? WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 2.4 MILLION SCHIZOPHRENICS, WITH MANY BEING BORDERLINE CASES, WHO ARE MIXING IN WITH REPEAT FELONS AND ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. THEY ARE THE ONES COMMITTING MOST OF THE CRIMES IN THE UNITED STATES.

    My Website http://www.johnpecchio.com contains a prison video to the rights of the screen, along with my guestbook of satisfied readers and their comments on our Justice System.
    By Author – John J. Pecchio

    GOD BLESS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
    AND A SPECIAL BLESSING, TO THOSE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN FIGHTING FOR OUR
    FREEDOM, LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

  73. Chuck Says:

    I have to say I like what your doing Mr Scott, prisoners should not be able to smoke. This will be one more incentive to stay the …k out of jail in the first place if you don’t like the policy.

  74. Just Saying Says:

    To the person who posted #63. You don’t know what you are talking about!!! There are no conjugal visits or AC. They have small televisions that about 20 people can watch at one time with abotu 4 channels. Everything the inmates pay for is from money the families sacrifice to give them. Smoking is the only means of treating depression without going on psych meds that is monitored by healthcare professionals that have no idea what they are doing. They do not get as much as society thinks they do. Everyone of you that are making comments need to research both sides of the fence. Pulling tobacco out of the prisons will only make things worse, especially for those that are trying to do the right thing. Smoking cession class will probably consist of smoke or get a DR so we can lock you up in confinement. Oh, by the way os probably full also. Let out those that are doing right and keep those that are not. Some people did just make a mistake. There are white color crime people that could be on house arrest or conditional release and they woul dhave to pay the courts and DC, saving the taxpayers money. Most of these men were smoking before they went to prison, so the damage was probably already done. WAKE UP FLORIDA – NOT EVERYONE IN PRISON IS A MONSTER!!!!

  75. Steven Says:

    Dave Aronburg had a Senate Bill last year HB143 for a free real time biometric system being offered to pharmacy’s in Florida that catches fake ID and never uses patient personal information thereby making it the most HIPAA advanced system ever. The free system is offered by biotech medical software at University of Central Florida BioScriptRx com This system doesn’t need new laws or cost the tax payers a penny. BioScriptRx only uses the finger scan for patient ID. That finger can only go to one doctor and it checks to see if that finger has been to another doctor. Until we stop fake ID and will only have a band-aid and people will die. This is the same system that our new Drug Czar backed as a Senator in a senate Bill HB 143 last year. If Gov. Scott really cares this system answers his questions about a dadabase

  76. Leena Says:

    I am sure the guards will find time to get in a smoke break (smoke-free or not) Also the guards are going to be able to wear the patch but what about the inmates? Are they going to be able to purchase them out of the canteen?

  77. Concerned Says:

    Leena,

    The “guards” as you call them didn’t lose their rights like the inmates did when they committed a FELONY that put them in prison. So the CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS should be able to find time to get a smoke break in because they are the ones protecting you and the rest of a very unappreciative society from some of those guys behind bars. If they want to sell the patches in the canteen, so be it, but the tax payers shouldn’t have to pay one cent towards smoking cessation.

  78. donna sams Says:

    First of all my husband Is incarcerated. He works at every opportunity they will give him. He is nothing short of respectful to all. Even when having contracted MRSA in his eye and being put off three days to see a “Doctor” he kept his peace. He is doing his time because he has taken responsability for his actions. And because he now has a permanent bruise under his eye, he takes a lot of flack from both inmates and officers who label him a “Scrapper”
    Second, the guards protecting us? How many of them as of late have been arrested themselves for horrible acts that are just now being published in the news? And there is so much that does not even get brought to light. There is no one that ,but for the grace of God, could have ended up behind those bars. And if you disagree just look at your own heart and the hate that is harbored there. Within that, outside of addictions lies the causes for many of these behind bars.

  79. naysayer Says:

    Prisoners have to pay $50.00 a day for each day they spent in incarceration once they return to society. Times that by 3 years and that person has to pay $53750.00. So, to all you taxpayers who complain, saying that YOU pay for Florida’s prisons, be glad you don’t have a bill like that. Putting every inmate in significant debt once they are released isn’t really giving them a fresh start, now is it?

  80. naysayer Says:

    To donna sams I know just how you feel, my husband is also incarcerated so far he has watched people who have stolen cars and stabbed children be released when he is there because we couldn’t pay for his probation (for driving without a license) he has HIV and he contracted MRSA here in his home, where there it is extremely clean and is air conditioned. I’m afraid he will die in prison without AC and the cleanliness he desperately needs to survive.

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