Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Correctional Officers

By Associated Press

The union that represents Florida's prison guards and probation officers says the Legislature could be putting those prison workers, as well as the public, in danger.

A group of corrections employees gathered at the Capitol on Tuesday to urge lawmakers to reconsider their cuts.

The Legislature is putting together a budget that is about $5 billion less than the previous year. Both the House and Senate versions would eliminate 600 probation officers from the
department. That's about a third of all probation officers in the state. The Senate also is proposing more than 1,200 prison security cuts.

The Police Benevolent Association which represents correctional officers says the cuts would make an already dangerous job even more dangerous.

The union also says that at a time when more and more inmates are being released from prison, the state should be adding probation officers not taking them away.

Department of Corrections Secretary Walter McNeil said he's been working with lawmakers and believes commonsense will ultimately prevail.

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