HAVANA — The head of Florida’s prison system ran the numbers Tuesday on how a new approach to inmate “re-entry” will save taxpayers money by breaking the cycle of crime and punishment, then said the initiative would be worthwhile even without the fiscal considerations.
“It does save money,” Department of Corrections Secretary Michael Crews said at an opening ceremony for the Gadsden Re-Entry Center. “But we’re doing it because it’s fundamentally and morally the right thing to do.”
The $17 million medium-security prison about 15 miles west of Tallahassee, which has 432 beds and a staff of 92, will start accepting men in the final three years of their prison sentences early next month. Located on 47 acres adjoining the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy, the facility is the first in Florida dedicated entirely to preparing inmates to rejoin society — with services ranging from literacy and job skills to parenting and anger management.