Early Inmate Release

By: Whitney Ray
By: Whitney Ray

A plan to release 39-hundred inmates from Florida prisons is being discussed in Tallahassee. Releasing the inmates would allow the state to postpone building three new prisons at a cost of 300 million taxpayer dollars.

The Department of Corrections doesn’t support the early release plan, but says something needs to be done to cut down the state’s prison population.

The state plans to build three new prisons to keep up with the growing inmate population. The price tag is 300 million dollars.

Barney Bishop says Associated Industries of Florida wants the state to release 39-hundred inmates to save construction cost.

“We are major providers of state taxes, through the revenues that we give to the state of Florida. We want a better bang for our buck.”

“The release plan wouldn’t apply to murders, pedophiles, or armed robbers. Only non-violent offenders would be eligible for release.”

Mark Pucket of the Florida Police Benevolent Association supports efforts to cut down on the prison population, but questions giving out ‘get out of jail free cards’.

“It would send a shock wave through the system. I don’t think that’s good public policy.”

One out of every three inmates released from Florida Prisons end up back in the system. The plan would require released inmates to receive job training. Gretl Plessinger says the Department of Corrections opposes early releases, but supports the training portion.

“Inmates that receive basic education, substance abuse training, are far less likely to go out into the community, create a new crime and come back into our system.”

Another idea to help balance the state’s shrinking budget includes shipping prisoners to out of state or paying private prisons to house Florida inmates.


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