There seems to be a problem happening in Florida. I’m sure that it’s actually happening across the country as well, but it just doesn’t really get discussed much.
There is a big shortage of correctional officers at Florida prisons. This is something that Gov. DeSantis said threatens not only the safety of the current officers, but the inmates and the general public as well.
It may not seem like it would pose a threat to the public, but if there are not enough officers and they can easily be overwhelmed by inmates, they could escape and then that puts people at risk.
So, in response to the problem, Gov. DeSantis has activated the National Guard.
The state’s corrections agency said that National Guard members will be deployed as a supplemental measure to security posts at some institutions. They will be supervised by respective prison wardens or similar staff, the agency said.
“We think, as we continue to hire and reduce the stress on the compounds, the existing officers are going to want to stay because they’re not going to work that amount of overtime they’re currently working,” Department of Corrections Chief Financial Officer Mark Tallent told WPTV.
“They’re going to have a better family life, be able to get out of the institution more. We definitely think we’re trending in the right direction.”
The Guard members won’t be expected to directly supervise inmates, according to DeSantis’s order.
“Members of the Guard have the training and capability to assist Florida’s correctional officers with certain duties, such as manning guard towers, perimeter patrols, and control stations, which will allow the correctional officers to concentrate on directly supervising and caring for inmates,” the Republican governor’s order reads.
The Department of Corrections has been underfunded and neglected for years and I’m glad that DeSantis is finally doing something about it, at least temporarily. Now, if he can just award some funding and incentives to get some people to work in these correctional facilities, that would be a step forward.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore