Across Florida
What's happening on other political blogs?

Senate takes another swipe at privatizing prisons next week

by Dara Kam | February 9th, 2012

Senate President Mike Haridopolos will next week resurrect a prison privatization plan he set aside twice, indicating he may have garnered enough support to pass the controversial measure.

Haridopolos said today the Senate will take up the privatization plan (SB 2038) and amendments on Monday, including a proposal that prompted Haridopolos last week to put the brakes on the bill that would privatize all Department of Corrections operations – including prisons and work camps – in an 18-county region in the southern portion of the state. Haridopolos stopped debate before an amendment that would have stripped out the privatization and instead ordered a study of the outsourcing.

When asked if putting the bill on the calendar meant that he now has the votes to pass the plan, Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, smiled.

“We’ll see,” he said.

Haridopolos may have garnered more support for his priority issue since stripping outspoken critic of the plan Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, of his committee chairmanship after Fasano’s privatization study amendment appeared to likely to pass and gut the bill. Haridopolos, Gov. Rick Scott and other GOP leaders have urged senators to go along with the plan because of an estimated minimum $16.5 million annual savings.

The Senate will likely have an up-or-down vote on the privatization plan on Tuesday, Haridopolos said.

“I think some people have been impressed by the facts,” he said.

Tags: , , , ,

13 Responses to “Senate takes another swipe at privatizing prisons next week”

  1. Need More Sugar Says:

    Lets see how long it takes after the prisons are privatized to have a case of a judge who was bought off by one of the for profit private prison companies to hand out convictions with lengthy incarcerations just to be able to improve the bottom line of these for profit prison companies.

    Don’t believe it can happen?

  2. Dillon Says:

    This is sad if true and prison privatization has the votes, you can bet if this passes a Senator was bought off and has a nice gift in the budget. Shame.

  3. Downtown Danny Says:

    Another theft of public resources by Republicans – their scheme to run public schools out of business with No Child Left Behind giving F’s to schools so they could cut funding is withering on the vine – this is just another money grubbing attempt by corrupt Republicans who are happy to skip along towards a total corporate dictatorship with elected representatives.
    In Hitlers day they would have skipped along beside him to the bitter end as long as they were able to lime their pockets with cash.

  4. Old Turn Key Says:

    When some of the rent-a-cops who staff private prisons (since it’s just a job and not a career for the vast majority of them) screw up royally and inmates or their families sue the state and the private company, good bye $16M savings! You can contract away responsibility, but not liability. Haridopolis or is that (King) “Herodopolis” enjoy your CCA stock dividends while they last!

  5. Ex Captain Says:

    Pleaes vote no legislatures think about what this does for the working class, the dedicated few, the proud that serve the state of Florida.

  6. Rick Says:

    When governments imprison citizens it is called a penal system. When private corporations imprison citizens it is called slavery.

  7. GJB Says:

    I would like to hear more of how this would work. First off, private corps would not be sentencing people, the legal system would. The prison is just going to hold them like always. All the benefits, salaries and the like will be absorbed by the company. The real question here is WHO is going to pay the private company to keep the inmates incarcerated. This could be a huge tax cut as we would would not have to pay all the expenses associated with running the facility.

  8. Gary Says:

    Once this happens the state won’t be able to take it back…..start up costs would be out of sight….the only way private jails can make $$$ is to sure the beds are full….next step change the rules for correction officers not to be certified by the state ..that cost money…watch how quickly the inmates will bribe the officers who will make lower wages no buy in…its going to get worst…time will tell

  9. Rick Says:

    @GJB More of how this would work! The republicans want to privatize everything so the greedy corporations get all the money. They want to privatize schools and have with vouchers. They want to privatize medical care and have to a great extent. They want to privatize social security and have tried many times and many ways. Now how long after private prisons will it take them to privatize the judicial system so they can have judges in their pockets? My guess is about a week. This is not just the end of the penal system, it is the end of democracy.

  10. Janet Tomes Says:

    @GJB — You said, “First off, private corps would not be sentencing people, the legal system would.”

    Did you not hear about the 2 judges in the Wilkes-Barre area who were CONVICTED of taking bribes from private prisons to sentence juveniles to facilities — sentences they did not deserve or crimes they were not guilty of? Also, private prison corporations do not maintain their facilities nor do they have adequately-trained staff. It will be a nightmare, guaranteed, and will save no appreciable amount of money.

    Read what happened in one Florida county when they privatized their jail:

  11. Kerry Says:

    Wake up Florida!!! Do NOT let this happen. Flood the capitol with phone calls!!!

  12. Moe Says:

    I just left Senator Haridopolis a message! You should too!! We can all make a difference here and stop the corporate greed! Use facebook and email as a tool to spread this news and make the call yourself, as well as encourage others. STOP THE PRIVITAIZATION OF FLORIDA’S PRISON SYSTEM.

    -==Share this news and then call 1-877-274-0951 to be connected to your state senator – tell them to VOTE NO on SB 2036 and 2038==-

  13. C Taunton Says:

    @GJB The way the private companies get money is by being paid by the STATE.
    Dont be fooled by this idea that the private company will be taking over the costs. They *still* bill the state, but they take responsibilities only for the least troublesome, and healthiest inmates, and remove all the benefits the officers get for daily facing one of the most dangerous and stressful jobs in the country.
    You don’t sell out public safety to the lowest bidder.
    The penal system was never intended to be a profit-making enterprise, nor historically has it ever been. Its a public responsibility for the good of all, not for fueling corporate greed at the expense of safety for all (inmates, staff & public) and humane conditions- for staff too.

Florida political tweeters
Video: Politics stories