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Governor Scott Weighs In On Troubles Surrounding Florida Prisons

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott is weighing in on the troubles surrounding the state’s prison system. The Florida Department of Corrections has been in the news lately for prison firings, allegations of inmate abuse, and the latest: threatening to cancel their contract with private inmate health care provider.

During a recent stop in Jacksonville, Scott told reporters he’s aware of the problems in the system and he says Corrections’ Secretary Mike Crews is taking care of it.

“Well, here’s what I care about: I want to make sure if anyone who ends up as an inmate, that they’re safe. I want to make sure all of our Corrections’ officers is safe,” said Scott. “The Secretary of the Department of Corrections is taking it seriously. He’s traveled the state, he’s made sure there’s new training programs, he’s made sure now there’s more transparency, and if there’s going to be investigations, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement—which has a great reputation—will be involved in those investigations.”

Crews decided to enact those reforms, after a series of media reports by the Miami Herald detailed the death of a mentally ill inmate, who died after he was left in a scalding hot shower. Since that time, Crews has traveled to different correctional facilities to promote his “zero tolerance” policy.

In mid-September, 11 prison guards were arrested and fired for allegedly abusing inmates, as reported by the News Service of Florida. Last week, Crews also expressed concerns over private inmate health care provider, Corizon, saying it may not be providing adequate health care to inmate.

The department is already facing lawsuits.

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