Gov.-elect Rick Scott's law and order transition team slams the police unions and the state's PRIDE program in a report on the Department of Corrections released today. The introduction to the report calls the DOC "broken" and "lacking leadership, vision and courage." The committee suggests a top to bottom review of the corrections and criminal justice system, as recommended by Florida TaxWatch, and proposes decentralizing the agency to move authority down to the regional level. The review team says "individuals in certain areas far exceeded the parameters of their jobs" and many have been promoted from within "to jobs for which they are not nearly qualified." Ultimately, the team concluded: "Most failure is blamed on two to three people in leadership."
As for the Police Benevolent Association, the committee said the contracts with the PBA "encourage stagnation" and allow officers to be promoted based on tenure rather than performance, education and training. That means officers are promoted even if they haven't "accepted the modified mission statement of corrections which now includes successful reentry of the offenders into their community." The contract with the PBA expires in June, and "needs immediate attention," concluded the committee.
Other recommendations in the report: Give judges more leeway in sentencing, stop borrowing to pay for prisons, and open "mission-focused" prisons built around substance abuse programs, literacy and vocational training.
-- Janet Zink