Economy Bogs Down FL GOP’s Pro-Prison Position


Florida can’t afford to open its new $184 million prison on schedule in August, and a plan by lawmakers to give the state-of-the-art facility to private prison contractors was scrapped at the eleventh hour, reports the Orlando Sentinel. With the state short on cash and prison beds, Republicans in the Florida Legislature are being forced to reassess the tough-on-crime mentality that has permeated their politics for years.

Florida’s prison population cracked 100,000 this year, and state prison officials expect to need more and more prison beds during the next five years as the number of people incarcerated swells past 120,000. “Our prisons are growing faster than anything else in our state,” said Senate criminal-justice budget chief Victor Crist, a Tampa Republican.

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