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MSNBC ‘Lockup’ crew headed to FL prison

Thursday, August 11th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Santa Rosa C.I. Lt. Andrew Williams and film crew

Florida officials have opened the gates at a Panhandle prison to MSNBC‘s “Lockup” film crew for two months, according to a Department of Corrections press release.

A team from 44 Blue, the production company in charge of the series about life behind bars, began filming this week at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton this month, the release said.

DOC Secretary Ed Buss worked with the production company in his previous post as head of Indiana prisons.

“I have no qualms about them coming into our prisons. I’m proud of our staff and how well our facilities are run, and I hope this will help Floridians understand the challenges we face with our inmate population, as well as the benefits prisons provide to their communities through our programs and re-entry efforts,” Buss said in the release.

The film crew will have “unprecedented access” to inmates and staff who want to be on film, the release said. The prison houses up to 1,614 adult males of all custody levels, including some with mental health issues, according to the release.

The series is expected to go on the air sometime next year.

Scott makes first agency head hires

Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Gov.-elect Rick Scott has hired Indiana Corrections Commissioner Edwin G. Buss as Florida’s corrections secretary and Wal-Mart executive Bryan W. Koon to head the state’s emergency management division.

The pair – both former military men – are the first Scott has named to head his executive agencies before taking office on Jan. 4.

Here’s what Scott had to say about Buss in a press release issued late this afternoon:
Buss brings to Florida nearly twenty-four years of hands-on experience in corrections, emergency response, public safety, supervision and budgeting. As Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Corrections and a key member of Governor Mitch Daniels’ cabinet, Buss was responsible for over 7,500 employees, 26,000 inmates, 10,000 parolees throughout the state’s corrections facilities. Prior to serving as Commissioner, Buss served as Superintendent of two Indiana prisons where he refined Death Row and execution procedures, implemented accountability metrics and implemented a safe prison initiative. Throughout his career, Buss has been successful in implementing innovative policies that improve operations while reducing wasteful spending.

And here’s Koon’s biography from the press release announcing his appointment:
Koon brings to Florida nearly twenty years’ experience managing tactical and strategic emergencies in the military, government and private sector. In his current role as Director of Emergency Management for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Koon is responsible for the emergency management operations of over 8,500 facilities worldwide. He is an acknowledged expert in the fields of emergency preparedness, disaster response, continuity of operations and continuity of government. Koon’s broad and varied experience includes several years in the White House Military Office where he developed, maintained and implemented high level, classified programs to ensure continuity of government and continuity of operations in the wake of a tactical or natural disaster. He also served the nation with distinction as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy, both active duty and in the Navy Reserve.

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