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Prison Closings in Florida

I too am saddened to hear of this drastic, ridiculous move by Florida Governor Rick Scott. I received this notice today from Florida Representative Alan Williams, in my District, and am deeply concerned of the economic impact it will have in our area.

STATEMENT FROM REP. ALAN WILLIAMS
REGARDING STATE PRISON CLOSINGS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In response to today’s announcement by the state Department of Corrections that seven prisons and four work camps in Florida will be closed and jobs eliminated under direction from Governor Rick Scott, state Representative Alan Williams (D-Tallahassee) issued the following statement:

“I am saddened and disappointed with Governor Rick Scott’s decision to close several correctional institutions that are economically vital to our rural communities. I care about and have great concern for the people who work at these facilities, their families, and the small businesses that have relied upon the employment and economic opportunity that these prisons have brought to these fiscally constrained areas of our state.

“The closure of River Junction Work Camp in Chattahoochee, which is located within Florida House District 8 that I represent, and the closure of Jefferson Correctional Institution, an employer for many residents of my district, are especially troubling to me. But I believe the governor’s staff should reconsider the manner in which it is handling all these prison closings. Rather than fully closing all seven of these facilities, I wonder if it wouldn’t be more appropriate to consider restructuring the facilities, or even taking a closer look at the state’s privatized prisons.

“In his State of the State speech earlier this week, Governor Scott talked about protecting jobs and producing a job-friendly business climate for Florida. Sadly, his rhetoric doesn’t match the reality shown by his decision to close these institutions. His action reminds me of how so often we hear that government doesn’t create jobs. But in this case, it seems like government — or at least Governor Rick Scott — is destroying jobs for Floridians.”

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