Corrections Secretary Caught Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Apr 28, 2016

Florida’s House Majority Leader is weighing in on a controversy surrounding the Florida Department of Corrections and its decision to close a popular prison rehabilitation program in South Florida.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones is under fire for closing a rehabilitation program in Broward County to make additional office space for probation.

The Bridges of America program prepares inmates for life on the outside with drug and alcohol counseling and other services. But the group was told recently it will have to close its Broward County facility May 16 because the state needs office space for probation.

Republican Representative Dana Young of Tampa calls the decision “untenable “ in a letter to Department Secretary Julie Jones. Young is demanding to know why Jones didn’t inform the Legislature.

“Well, I think that there are a lot of legislators that are asking questions right now. And my hope is that the secretary changes her mind and decides to look elsewhere for her office space.”

A spokesman says Jones hasn’t received the letter. The department and the contractor are locked in a legal battle. In a written statement, Jones blames the decision on a local zoning change and promises inmates won’t be negatively affected.