Troubled FL Home-Confinement Program Plagued by Fear of Privatization


Bessman Okafor’s alleged plot to murder witnesses – and the Orlando Sentinel’s reporting – pulled back the curtain to reveal a deeply troubled home-confinement program in Orange County, Fl., plagued by privatization paranoia, leniency urged by management, and internal grudges. Public records document the failures in monitoring Okafor, who authorities say masterminded the Sept. 10 slaying of 19-year-old witness Alex Zaldivar. Two new reviews of home confinement – one by the county, another by internal-affairs investigators – add up to more than 100 scathing pages of misconduct. Amid the finger-pointing was an array of serious allegations, including that management pressured staff not to report defendants’ home-confinement violations. The pressure, lower-ranking staff said, was about numbers: “we wanted our program to look strong [ ] so that we wouldn’t possibly be [ ] privatized,” field officer Kenya Cox said.

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