More Prison Privatization Planned

Posted: July 6, 2012 in News and politics

As the Department of Corrections confirmed plans Tuesday to privatize 20 work release centers across Florida, a separate proposal to outsource prison inmate health care services was the focus of a legal dispute in a Tallahassee courtroom.

Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Glogau told Circuit Judge Kevin Carroll the department can contract health services even after a budget provision calling for privatization expires at midnight Saturday. He later said prison officials haven’t yet decided whether they will do so.

The soon-to-expire provision calls for privatizing health care in three of the state’s four correctional districts, excluding the South Florida District. The department, though, included all four districts in its request for proposals.

Glogau told the judge that if the budget provision lapses, so does the court’s authority to stop the agency from privatizing the service.

Lawyers for public employee unions and two prison nurses urged Carroll to block the privatization even without the budget provision. They denied it will be a moot issue when the budget expires.

Carroll said he expects to rule by the end of the week.

Copyright © 2012 TheLedger.com

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