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News from Tallahassee for 12/11/13
State seeks millions to re-open prisons, camps it closed last year posted on 11/1/13
by Steve Bousquet | Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau
It was only last year that Gov. Rick Scott's Department of Corrections trumpeted the news that it was shutting down several state prisons in a cost-cutting move.
But now the prison system is asking for nearly $59 million next year so it can reopen two of those shuttered prisons, as well as a pair of re-entry centers and five work camps scattered throughout the state.
The shift is the result of a new forecast by the Criminal Justice Estimating Conference (CJEC), which says that despite a steady drop in the crime rate, new admissions to Florida's prisons are on the upswing, creating a need for more prison beds.The inmate population was at about 101,000 on Thursday.
Funds For New Positions, ‘Ex-Inmate Reintegration Project’ Among DOC Goals posted on 10/31/13
by Sascha Cordner | WFSU
The Florida Department of Corrections is hoping for money to help released inmates re-enter society, as well as fund hundreds of new positions within the state’s prison system.
The department’s Budget Director Mark Tallent projects the nation’s third-largest prison system will need about $32.4 million to fund the 328 new positions needed to account for an increase in inmates in future years.
“The Department fiscal year 13-14 appropriation includes funding for an average daily population of 100,028 based on the February 2013 estimating conference. Based on the revised estimates from the July 2013 conference, the average daily population is projected to be 101,466 for fiscal year 13-14. Therefore, this request includes funding for additional population projected to be received in 13-14 along with projected increase for 14-15 [of 102,830].”
Court Filing Challenges Florida's New Execution Drug posted on 10/30/13
by JESSICA PALOMBO | WFSU
A Florida death row prisoner convicted of setting a girl on fire is asking a federal judge to block the state from executing him. His court filing Tuesday is part of an ongoing case asserting Florida’s three-drug execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.
Dane Abdool is on death row for the 2006 burning death of Amelia Sookdeo. Tuesday’s filing asserts Florida’s new execution drug, midazolam, could violate Abdool’s Eighth Amendment freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.
Fordham University law professor Deborah Denno also filed an affidavit in the case challenging the state’s replacement of a previous execution drug it ran out of.
Trial begins for suspended Panhandle sheriff posted on 10/29/13
by GARY FINEOUT | AP
BRISTOL, Fla. — A suspended Panhandle sheriff is headed to trial this week on misconduct charges in a case that has divided a small rural county and sparked yet another debate over Florida gun laws.
Nick Finch, the Liberty County sheriff, was arrested in June on felony charges of official misconduct and falsifying public records. Finch, who was removed from office by Gov. Rick Scott, is accused of personally intervening after one of his deputies arrested a resident accused of carrying a pistol without a concealed weapons permit.
Finch, who has pleaded not guilty, has repeatedly said that he let the man go because he is a believer in gun rights. He has drawn support from conservative media outlets and gun rights activists.
A jury was selected Monday in the trial that is expected to be wrapped up by Thursday.
Capital Report: Week in Review posted on 10/28/13
by WFSU News
One Florida state senator is on a mission to replace the state’s no-fault auto insurance system. He says scrapping the no-fault system all together will lower drivers’ premiums and pay more in compensation when they have legitimate claims...
Polls suggest the federal government shutdown was rough for Republicans nationally and Democrats are looking to capitalize on the GOP’s missteps...
A week after two Florida convicts were recaptured after simply walking out of prison on the strength of forged documents, authorities still aren’t sure how it all happened...
As Congress starts to work out some disparities between two slightly different water bills, Florida Congressmen and environmental groups are lauding the passage of the about 8-billion dollar legislation as a victory...
Bill Young, the Republican Representative from the state’s thirteenth congressional district died one week ago at the age of eighty-two.
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