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Gov. Scott Backing Prison Chief Julie Jones' Latest Budget Request To Help With Staffing

Florida Channel

The head of the Florida Department of Corrections says she’s asking the legislature for more funds to hire more correctional officers to help with the understaffing problem. And, Governor Rick Scott says he’s backing her amended legislative request.

Prison Chief Julie Jones is still asking for $82 million overall. The only difference is she wants to use some of that money to fund 734 positions, instead of her original ask of 472. And, speaking to reporters Tuesday, Scott says Jones knows what she’s doing, and he fully supports her latest budget request.

“So, Julie Jones is doing a great job at the Department of Corrections,” he said, speaking to reporters, following his State of the State address. “As you all know, she has a lot of success already in state government when she ran Highway Safety and when she was at Fish and Wildlife. She will be going to the legislature for more funding, and I support what she’s doing.”

A recent report commissioned by the Legislature also supports the need for more staffing in Florida’s prisons. At a recent Senate panel looking into Criminal Justice issues, Jones acknowledged that having more staff would have helped in a near riot at a correctional facility in the Florida Panhandle.

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