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.”
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