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Florida NewsMakers: with Secretary Michael Crews
On this week’s “Florida NewsMakers” program, Florida Department of Corrections
Secretary Michael Crews sits down with Sachs Media Group’s Trimmel Gomes to discuss
reforms in the state’s prison system.
With the nation’s largest outsourcing of prison medical care services now complete, Crews
says the change will mean millions of dollars in savings for the state. “We spent, as recently
as four years ago, a little over $400 million on health care. The current contract we have right now is about $358 million,” says Crews, highlighting the significant savings. To help
ease the department’s chronic budget deficit, the state entered into agreements to
provide comprehensive care to the state’s more than 101,000 inmate population. Crews
tell Gomes that despite concerns of job losses, the two private companies hired almost all the
public sector workers who were affected by the transition. “I’m proud to say that for both
providers,” Crews says, “over 90 percent of our members have now been absorbed and
are now working.” Crews address those issues, as well as public safety, recidivism and more on “Florida NewsMakers.”
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.
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