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Senate Panel To Discuss Florida Prison Reforms Next Week

MGN Online

During the week after New Year’s, Florida lawmakers are slated to come back into Tallahassee for the start of committee weeks. And, on their first day back, one Senate panel is looking at ways to help Florida’s troubled prison system.

First, Senate Criminal Justice Committee members will hear introductory remarks from the panel’s chair: Republican Senator Greg Evers.

Then, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is expected to do a presentation on the status of its investigation into unnatural inmate deaths at the Florida Department of Corrections—a task they took over this year as part of a series of prison reforms.

They’ll also hear a presentation from George Mallinckrodt, a former mental health counselor who worked in the same psychiatric unit where a mentally ill inmate died at Dade Correctional Institution, after he was allegedly kept in a scalding hot shower by prison guards.

In addition, the Project on Accountable Justice at Florida State University’s chairman Allison DeFoor will outline a series of recommendations released in a report where they see Florida’s prison system needs help. That includes a look at the Corrections’ Secretary term in office as well as creating an oversight body that looks at criminal justice issues.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) has taken those same two elements from the PAJ's report, and included them in a bill (SB 212) he filed last week. It revises the method of appointing the Corrections' Secretary and creates the Florida Corrections Commission within the department.

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.