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Teamsters sues over probation cuts

The union representing correctional and probation officers claims the Department of Correction’s decision to reduce the number of visits probation officers make to released convicts’ homes is not only a public safety risk, but is also illegal. As Sascha Cordner reports, the budgetary move by the agency is now facing a legal challenge by the Teamsters Union.

Last month, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker suspended home visits for some probationers and reduced face to face visits for others through the month of June. Michael Filler with the Teamsters Union says that’s a violation of state law.

“We have gone to the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, and are requesting that an administrative law judge be appointed and conduct a hearing our claim that the Department of Corrections improperly implemented a rule change without ever notifying the public and allowing for proper comment.”

A department spokeswoman declined to comment on the challenge, but says probationers will continue to be monitored. Offenders are still required to meet with probation officers in the office. And, face-to-face visits are still in place for sex offenders and those under house arrest.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.