Roof Repairs, Fixing Understaffing Among Priorities In Prison Budget, But No Pay Raises

Nov 23, 2015

Credit Florida Department of Corrections

Governor Rick Scott wants the state legislature to approve more than $80 million to help Florida’s prison system, and the state’s prison chief says it’s needed.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones says most of the money she’s asking for goes toward maintenance repair. That’s expected to cost $36 million.

“The fixed capital outlay needs for this year: 140 roofs,” said Jones, speaking recently to reporters. “I’m looking at stabilizing the infrastructure because we know if we fix the roof, that stops the degradation and the mold and the leaking and everything to save the actual structure and we can do maintenance crews on that.”

In the past, funds for officer salaries have gone toward those type of repairs, leaving positions unfilled. And, Jones says another $28 million goes toward helping with the understaffed correctional facilities, though her budget recommendation does not include pay raises.

“In my officer surveys…the officer surveys told me that having someone to back them up, to get the staffing right was more important than a raise,” added Jones. “That was very clear.”

The rest is for improving upon inmate health care and replacing inmate transport vehicles.

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