State seeks millions to re-open prisons, camps it closed last year
It was only last year that Gov. Rick Scott's Department of Corrections trumpeted the news that it was shutting down several state prisons in a cost-cutting move.
But now the prison system is asking for nearly $59 million next year so it can reopen two of those shuttered prisons, as well as a pair of re-entry centers and five work camps scattered throughout the state.
The shift is the result of a new forecast by the Criminal Justice Estimating Conference (CJEC), which says that despite a steady drop in the crime rate, new admissions to Florida's prisons are on the upswing, creating a need for more prison beds.The inmate population was at about 101,000 on Thursday.
Corrections officials are asking to re-open New River Correctional Institution in Raiford, part of the so-called Iron Triangle along with Florida State Prison and Union C.I. Also slated for re-opening is DeMilly Correctional in Polk City.