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 Florida Department of Corrections is hoping the Florida Legislature will give them back about $11 million that was taken out of its budget when lawmakers planned to privatize about 30 prisons in South Florida. The department made its legislative budget requests for the next fiscal year Wednesday.

When the Republican-led Florida Legislature aimed to privatize about 30 South Florida prisons, they projected it would provide a 7-percent cost savings. Since the effort failed to get off the ground, the Florida Department of Corrections wants the money to be put back in its budget.

Sascha Cordner

A Leon Circuit Judge is expected to rule soon on a challenge by several unions to block a plan to privatize the state’s prison health care services, which could leave thousands of state employees out of a job.  The judge heard oral arguments in Tallahassee Tuesday.

Capital Report: 01-20-2012

Jan 20, 2012

Capital Report Rundown - Friday

The House Redistricting Committee is moving closer to choosing new congressional and state house maps. James Call reports Friday, lawmakers held a three hour workshop on proposals and the committee chairman says he intends to bring a plan to the full House in two weeks.


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.