Ken Tucker

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott has chosen a new permanent leader for the Florida Department of Corrections. And, some are calling Scott’s fourth pick for prison chief “a good fit.”

On Wednesday, Scott announced Julie Jones, the former head of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, will lead the state’s troubled prison system.


Bringing stability and consistency to the troubled Florida Department of Corrections is at the forefront of several lawmakers’ and prison reform stakeholders’ minds as the 2015 legislative session draws near. And, the discussion may start at the top.

That’s especially after Governor Rick Scott still has to name a permanent head to lead the troubled agency—after Scott’s third Florida Department of Corrections’ Secretary recently resigned.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews is stepping down at the end of this month and Governor Rick Scott named his interim replacement Monday afternoon. Crews is the first of Scott’s agency heads to resign since his re-election earlier this month.

Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Department of Corrections has a new Secretary, but he’s not new to the agency. It’s the department’s Second-In-Command Mike Crews, who was recently appointed to his new role by Governor Rick Scott. But, as the third Secretary in less than two years, Crews faces several challenges in leading the nation’s third largest prison system.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Florida Governor Rick Scott named a new person to head the state’s prison system Monday. Florida Department of Corrections Deputy Secretary Mike Crews has moved up to lead the agency, making him the third chief under Scott in less than two years.

With about 30 years of state corrections and law enforcement experience, Crews says he hopes to bring stability and consistency to the department.

Florida’s prison chief is stepping down from his role as the head of one of the nation’s largest prison systems. While Ken Tucker’s official last day is at the end of December, he bid farewell to the Florida Department of Corrections in a video message Wednesday.

With only about 15 months on the job, Tucker is preparing to leave because he’s approaching a mandatory retirement date. In his farewell video, Tucker says he has mixed feelings.

The head of the state’s prison system is seeking a new job, and he could be leaving as early as October. While Ken Tucker would be the second Florida Department of Corrections chief to leave during Governor Rick Scott’s term so far, he has the Governor’s blessing to do so.

Governor Rick Scott appointed Tucker as the Department of Corrections Secretary at the end of August of last year. Before coming to work at the department, Scott plucked Tucker from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, where he worked for close to 30 years.

Newly minted Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker talks about his plans for reducing recidivism and how closing some state prisons will help the department stay within its budget.  


In a budget saving effort, 11 correctional facilities in Florida are expected to close. But, as Sascha Cordner reports, while some say the move is unavoidable, others say it will hurt hundreds of correctional officers who will lose their jobs and the communities that depend on them.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker says Governor Rick Scott tasked him with finding a way to reduce the overall cost of the state’s corrections’ budget.