Monday, December 17, 2012

New Fla. prison chief no fan of privatization

We hope not.
Good news for our Florida Department of Corrections officers: Gov. Rick Scott picked Mike Crews to head the state's prison system, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Our sources tell us this is a good development. Crews, the No. 2 corrections official, views prison privatization as inappropriate.

Our sources further tell us GEO Group, the Boca Raton-based private prison company, was pushing its own candidate for the job.

The Times reports:
Crews will succeed Ken Tucker, whose last retirement becomes official on Dec. 28. Crews, like Tucker, was a long-time official of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before joining DOC. Crews will be Scott's third prisons chief in less than two years. The governor selected a highly-regarded former Indiana corrections director, Edwin Buss, who was forced out after eight months following clashes with the governor's office. Then came Tucker, who was more of a caretaker because he long ago planned to retire in March 2013 under the state's deferred retirement option program, known as DROP. 
Crews will take charge at a time when a state court has just dealt the agency a major setback by striking down the planned outsourcing of all inmate health care services in most of the state. The agency is appealing that decision.