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Funds For New Positions, ‘Ex-Inmate Reintegration Project’ Among DOC Goals

The Florida Department of Corrections is hoping for money to help released inmates re-enter society, as well as fund hundreds of new positions within the state’s prison system.

The department’s Budget Director Mark Tallent projects the nation’s third-largest prison system will need about $32.4 million to fund the 328 new positions needed to account for an increase in inmates in future years.

“The Department fiscal year 13-14 appropriation includes funding for an average daily population of 100,028 based on the February 2013 estimating conference. Based on the revised estimates from the July 2013 conference, the average daily population is projected to be 101,466 for fiscal year 13-14. Therefore, this request includes funding for additional population projected to be received in 13-14 along with projected increase for 14-15 [of 102,830].”

Tallent made that budget request to legislative staff Wednesday. He also asked for about a million dollars for an "Identification Card Project" to help released inmates get an ID card. Obtaining an ID is one of the biggest obstacles ex-inmates face upon their release from prison. Without one, getting a job, finding housing, and cashing checks is harder, and experts say the inability to do those things could lead to re-incarceration.

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.