Legislative leaders decided in weekend budget talks to close Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Riverview, the state's only faith- and character-based prison for women.
A show of force by HCI supporters last year kept the prison open and those advocates, including retired women from Sun City Center, began mobilizing again Sunday.
But the debt-ridden Department of Corrections developed criteria that resulted in the prison being rated the least efficient in the state.
"I'm disappointed," said Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. "I think the volunteers and the former inmates there showed us the success of that facility."