Correctional Officers Disappointed In Failure Of Privatization Study
(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Florida correctional officers today said they are disappointed that the Senate failed to pass an amendment to study the real cost of privatizing the state’s prisons.
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, submitted an amendment to the sweeping proposal to turn correctional facilities over to for-profit corporations. His amendment, which failed 21-19, would have ordered an objective cost-benefit study of privatization.
“Sen. Fasano’s amendment would make sure the state only awards private contracts that save taxpayers money,” said William Carpenter, a sergeant at Marion Correctional Institution. “We need to be careful that cost savings at private facilities don’t result in cost increases at public correctional institutions. Already we’re seeing evidence of cherry-picking the least expensive inmates for facilities that will be turned over to for-profit corporations.”
Carpenter was among the dozens of Teamsters who traveled to Tallahassee today to show their support for Sen. Fasano’s proposal. Over the past few weeks, hundreds of correctional officers have visited the Capitol to oppose plans to privatize 27 correctional facilities and work camps and to close 11.
“The Senate leadership wants to change the rules to give away billions of dollars in secret contracts,” said Ken Wood, Acting President of Teamster Local 2011, which represents 20,000 Florida Department of Corrections officers. “It isn’t right and it isn’t fair. Sen. Fasano’s amendment would have gone a long way to right that injustice.”
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Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to www.teamster.org or follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower.