TALLAHASSEE — In a stunning rebuke of the decade-long push to privatize Florida prisons, an independent audit concludes that Florida is losing money and facing litigation because of its decision to turn its prison healthcare system over to private contractors.
The audit, requested by the Florida Senate in the 2019-20 state budget, recommends the state end its private healthcare contract and either bring the work in-house or initiate an agreement to obtain healthcare through the university system’s teaching hospitals.
The state would save $40 million to $46 million a year, said CGL Companies, a national prison consulting firm that conducted the audit.
Those savings would come at a time when the Florida Department of Corrections is beset by problems, from rapid turnover and inexperienced corrections officers to crumbling facilities and an inmate population that is increasingly violent, drug-addicted and prone to mental illness.
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