$29M cut from substance abuse services, transitional programs for inmates, probationers

Cuts to cost hundreds of jobs, put offenders back in prison

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Budget cuts for transitional and addiction services at the State Department of Corrections will now move forward after Florida legislators failed to intervene last Friday.

Earlier this month, Rep. Richard Corcoran made assurances that the Legislature would act to address the problem.

“It’s got to be fixed and it will be fixed,” Corcoran said.

When asked how, Corcoran simply replied, “More money."

But with no new funds, the State Department of Corrections will now move forward in cutting $29 million from substance abuse services and transitional programs for inmates and probationers.

Overall, funding for the programs is being cut by more than 40 percent.

The cuts will cost hundreds of jobs and take inmates out of work release and substance abuse treatment programs and put them back behind bars.

“They will be pulling those — at least 500 — inmates back to a reception center to make a determination of what they're going to do with those offenders at this point,” said Mark Fontaine, president of the Florida Drug and Alcohol Abuse Association.