Florida Chief Financial Officer Candidate Loranne Ausley today stood with members of the law enforcement community outside of the Central Florida Reception Center to blast Senate President Jeff Atwater for his role in forcing the Department of Corrections to cut 71 Prison Work Squads. Last year the Department of Corrections public work squad program, utilized by cities, counties, state agencies, and non-profits for construction, recycling, ground maintenance, etc. saved taxpayers $35.7 million.
“Senate President Jeff Atwater’s ‘prison to nowhere’ is yet another product of the broken system in Tallahassee, and once again Florida taxpayers are stuck with the bill,” said Ausley. “Floridians are fed up with politicians who play by their own rules with our money. Whether it’s the “Tallahassee Taj Mahal,” the “Prison to Nowhere” or an airport hanger for a political contributor, politicians in Tallahassee need to be held accountable.”
The $24 million budgeted for the prison work squads is now being used to open the Blackwater River Correctional Institution, or “Prison to Nowhere.” The “Prison to Nowhere,” is operated by GEO group, a private prison operator in Boca Raton, who already received $110 million in appropriations to build the prison. Earlier this year, over objections from the Florida Department of Corrections, Senate President Jeff Atwater supported the last minute attempt to shut down two state-run prisons in order to funnel prisoners into the private, and mostly empty private prison in Milton.
More than $870,000 in financial contributions have flowed to Senate President Jeff Atwater and the Republican Party of Florida over the last ten years from the corrections and private prison industry, the GEO Corporation, it’s executive management team, and its various political entities.
For more information about Loranne Ausley visit www.AusleyForCFO.com.