The Florida Department of Corrections is hoping for money to help released inmates re-enter society, as well as fund hundreds of new positions within the state’s prison system.
The department’s Budget Director Mark Tallent projects the nation’s third-largest prison system will need about $32.4 million to fund the 328 new positions needed to account for an increase in inmates in future years.
“The Department fiscal year 13-14 appropriation includes funding for an average daily population of 100,028 based on the February 2013 estimating conference. Based on the revised estimates from the July 2013 conference, the average daily population is projected to be 101,466 for fiscal year 13-14. Therefore, this request includes funding for additional population projected to be received in 13-14 along with projected increase for 14-15 [of 102,830].”
Tallent made that budget request to legislative staff Wednesday. He also asked for about a million dollars for an "Identification Card Project" to help released inmates get an ID card. Obtaining an ID is one of the biggest obstacles ex-inmates face upon their release from prison. Without one, getting a job, finding housing, and cashing checks is harder, and experts say the inability to do those things could lead to re-incarceration.
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