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Florida's Prison Health Care Services To Be Fully Privatized By Mid-October

Florida Channel

The privatization of prison health care services in Florida is expected to be fully implemented by mid-October. The effort, projected to save the department millions of dollars, caused thousands of employees to lose their state jobs.

Speaking before a Senate Criminal Justice budget panel Wednesday, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews said the privatization effort is almost done. There’s only one facility left that needs to privatize its prison health care services.

“We intentionally made that institution our Reception and Medical Center, or RMC. That’s the institution that has our cancer unit, our dialysis unit. It is a massive mission at RMC. We were going to transfer it by itself. But, by October 13th, barring anything unforeseen, we will have fully privatized health care in the Florida Department of Corrections.

The effort has been a priority for the department for the past couple years, but the issue got tied up in court when unions sued on behalf of employees who did not want to lose their state jobs. Crews says his agency made sure all 3,000 employees received interviews with the two private management companies, Wexford and Corizon, chosen to run the prison health services and most employees were offered jobs.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

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.