Law \ Legal

Florida Weighs Calling National Guard To Help Understaffed Prisons 

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A legislative panel will review a plan to mobilize members of the Florida National Guard to assist at jails next week as the state continues to struggle with a lack of correctional officers, according to a document released on Friday, CBS News reports.

On Sept. 9, the Joint Legislative Budget Commission is scheduled to discuss a proposal to release $31.25 million, which would, at least in part, be used to pay for the expenses associated with activating National Guard personnel.

If the proposal is enacted, the Florida National Guard will be activated to assist the FDC (Department of Corrections) at facilities for nine months or until the FDC determines it no longer needs National Guard assistance, in an effort to reduce overtime and provide relief to current correctional officers.

Senators were informed by Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon in January that the organization has a “significant vacancy rate” of 5,849 open correctional officer posts. According to the prison’s proposal, the Department of Corrections would essentially be able to contract with the state Department of Military Affairs for the activation.

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