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Lori Costantino-Brown

Judge finds for Corrections in drug-treatment vendor dispute

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An administrative law judge is recommending dismissing a challenge to the Department of Corrections seeking outside substance-abuse treatment and other transitioning-back-into-society services in Orange County. Bridges of America, the Orlando-based nonprofit that runs the program, has for months been waging a legal and PR battle to keep its facility open, and another in Broward County. The Broward battle ended in a settlement.  Corrections has been letting its agreements with vendors expire as part of a larger plan to reduce services…

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‘No evidence’ GEO Group behind prisoner rehab grab

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The head of a nonprofit that runs prisoner re-entry programs in the state said she had “no evidence” her group and others were being muscled out by private prison operator The GEO Group. But, Lori Costantino-Brown quickly added, there’s been a “lot of speculation” that the company has somehow been involved. Costantino-Brown, president and CEO of Orlando-based Bridges of America, held a press conference Thursday in Tallahassee with other care providers. The Department of Corrections has been targeting Bridges in particular as…

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One reason to support Bridges of America in its latest dust-up with the Department of Corrections

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Bridges of America and the Department of Corrections are at it again. As Florida Politics’ Jim Rosica reported Monday, Bridges and the DOC are once more warring over transitional programs for the state’s inmates. This isn’t the first time Lori Costantino-Brown, president and chief executive officer of Bridges of America, and Corrections Secretary Julie Jones had a high-profile scuffle. A similar battle broke out earlier this year over Broward Bridge, a residential program offering transitional counseling, drug treatment, and other services to inmates on work…

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Department of Corrections settles case over Bridges of America program shutdown

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The battle over Broward Bridge is over. The state’s Department of Corrections and Bridges of America announced a settlement Wednesday afternoon. The state had been planning to pull the plug on Broward Bridge, a residential program offering transitional counseling, drug treatment and other services to inmates on work release. Bridges, the Orlando-based nonprofit that runs the program, had been waging a PR battle to keep the facility open. About 89 percent of men who start the Broward program successfully complete it, according to Bridges. Overall, only 10…

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State refuses to divulge new plan to help ex-prisoners

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The state’s Department of Corrections has slapped a ‘top secret’ label on its plan to help ex-cons in Broward County. The department on Monday turned down a request by POLITICO Florida to release a “transition plan,” now that the state has ended its partnership with the Orlando-based Bridges of America nonprofit. Bridges of America had a contract to run a transitional and substance abuse program for former prisoners in Broward County. The arrangement ends May 16, and the department told the organization it’s not renewing the deal.…

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