Florida’s correctional officers and probation officers want their old union back. After a recent vote, the Florida Police Benevolent Association won the right to represent the officers.

Starting next month, thousands of Florida’s correctional and probation officers will decide which union they want representing them. The choice is between the Florida Police Benevolent Association and the Teamsters Union.

MGN Online

Columbia Correctional Institution is returning to normal operations after a lockdown. It’s among several North Florida correctional facilities that experienced prison riots over the last week. But, the head of the union that represents thousands of Florida’s corrections officers says the uprisings speak to a long-standing issue within the Florida Department of Corrections.

Two unions are gearing up to fight over who will represent state correctional and probation officers during the next legislative session.

Ron Silver speaking
Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Florida prison guards are asking state lawmakers for pay raises similar to those given to other law enforcement officers last year. The guards say low pay and inflexible holiday time cause many of their fellow officers to leave prisons for other jobs—and to become less effective at guarding violent criminals.

Twenty-eight years have come and gone since Lillie Clark started working for the Florida Department of Corrections. Today, she’s a captain in charge of staffing at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Florida Channel

A House panel has agreed to advance its version of overhauling the Florida Retirement System, despite much opposition from public employees and Democrats. The newer pension reform proposal is similar to a plan that died in the Senate last year.

This week is National Corrections Week, and Gov. Rick Scott took some time away from his “Teacher Pay Raise Victory Tour” to praise Florida’s correctional officers. He’s also reminding them about his efforts to get them higher pay. But, some say the state could do more for Florida’s prison officers.

In a video message, Scott says he’s thankful correctional officers are keeping Florida safe.

A Republican-backed proposal to reduce the number of former inmates going back into Florida’s prisons is now taking shape in the form of a bill. But, some unions and even some Republicans may not be on board with the “Smart Justice” idea.

Republican Senator Thad Altman of Melbourne says the state can do more to help non-violent offenders who leave the prison system.

A union that represents the state's probation officers is leaving it up to a judge to decide whether it's legal for probation officers to have to cut back on the number of visits they make each month to the homes of parolees. As Sascha Cordner reports, the Teamsters Union claims the move is a danger to the public and could lead to the loss of jobs.

Faced with a $79 million budget deficit, the Florida Department of Corrections is trying to find ways to cut costs.

The union representing correctional and probation officers claims the Department of Correction’s decision to reduce the number of visits probation officers make to released convicts’ homes is not only a public safety risk, but is also illegal. As Sascha Cordner reports, the budgetary move by the agency is now facing a legal challenge by the Teamsters Union.

A massive prison privatization effort is causing quite a stir among Florida lawmakers. That’s due to a move by Senate President Mike Haridopolos to vet a pair of prison privatization bills through two committees that are not prison-related. As Sascha Cordner reports, the bills now move on to one last committee stop, despite objection from some who feel the process is a sham.