Florida TaxWatch, Reason Foundation, AIF outline a continuum of care to improve outcomes in corrections

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Florida Tax Watch, Reason Foundation and Associated Industries of Florida today held a tele-press conference to applaud the Legislature? bold efforts to reform the corrections system in Florida. Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of the nonpartisan, nonprofit research institute and government watchdog Florida TaxWatch, was joined on the statewide media call by Dr. Adrian Moore, Vice President of Policy with Reason Foundation, and Barney Bishop, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida.

“It? far past time to take a new approach to rehabilitation of offenders,?said Dominic Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch. ?or years, the corrections system has been a revolving door, with inmates leaving prison only to return within a few years, costing the taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, if not hundreds of millions, each year. A new paradigm is needed that holds offenders accountable while ensuring they have the training, education, and life skills to successfully reenter society and not return to prison. The continuum of care approach using public-private partnerships, as outlined in the Florida TaxWatch report from January 2011, would improve the system by streamlining the process from entry into the correction system through full reintegration into the community following release, which will enhance public safety while saving taxpayer dollars and ensuring offenders are held accountable for their crimes.”

Dr. Adrian Moore, Vice President of Policy with Reason Foundation added, ?ransforming the way Florida operates its prisons is an important step to lowering the state? recidivism rate and improve rehabilitation of offenders. The public-private partnership model institutes a system of accountability that promotes innovation from the private sector, matched with high levels of regulation and oversight from the public sector. Public-private partnerships are the wave of future and Florida should get on board so we can maximize the benefits of Floridians.?

The two independent policy groups released a policy brief in January outlining a proposal to create a continuum of care in corrections through public-private partnerships. The forward-thinking reforms authored by Mr. Leonard Gilroy and Dr. Adrian Moore offers a blueprint for lawmakers and decision-makers to successfully change the status quo system and deliver new levels of public safety while achieving cost savings for Floridians.

??strong>Improved rehabilitation of offenders and lower recidivism is a key goal in public-private partnerships. By combining the innovation of the private sector and the right level of regulation and oversight from the public sector, an outcomes-driven system can be implemented that yields successful rehabilitation and reintegration programs that, over time, will reduce Florida? high levels of recidivism.

??strong>Creating a system of accountability is fundamental to the public-private partnership model as the current correctional system lacks a single authority responsible for successful inmate rehabilitation and community reintegration programs to avoid inmates from recidivating. Public-private partnerships, for the first time, create an outcomes-based system that holds the private partner accountable for providing safe and secure prisons, and for effectively rehabilitating inmates.

??enerating at least $30 million in taxpayer savings a year by transforming Florida? corrections system and adopting a public-private partnership model.

Barney Bishop, President and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida stated, ?ssociated Industries of Florida agrees that the time is now to reform the way Florida handles its corrections system. Moving towards a model that empowers the private sector to share new, innovative tools will bring cost savings to the state and keep our communities safe. Adopting a public-private partnership will create a true accountable corrections system that holds both the private and public sector responsible for providing safe prisons and for effectively rehabilitating inmates.?


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.