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March 17, 2011

What is the current status and latest research on faith-based prisons?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by this local news article from Florida headlined "Faith-based prison in Riverview to close." Here are the details from this piece:

Hillsborough County's only state prison is among several corrections facilities statewide that will be shut down by June 30, officials announced today. Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Riverview, the state's lone faith-based women's prison, has almost 300 inmates and 141 full-time employees.

Prisoners will be moved to Lowell Correctional in Marion County, which will provide faith-based dormitories, said Gretl Plessinger, spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections. Once some other prisons statewide are converted to a faith-based system, prisoners will have the opportunity to move there....

With about 101,700 inmates, the state's prisons are under capacity. The programs affected by the closures have roughly 2,100 inmates. The closures will affect 564 full-time workers, officials said. The department has about 28,000 employees.

Officials said closing the Riverview facility and two other correctional institutions, as well as two boot camps and a residential prison where inmates serve on road crews will save $30.8 million a year – mostly through attrition – as well as millions more by avoiding repairs.

The department's annual budget tops $2 billion. "The facilities to be closed are older and require more resources to operate than newer institutions," DOC Secretary Edwin Buss said in a statement.

Hillsborough Correctional, 11150 County Road 672, was established in 1976 to house 272 male youthful offenders in minimum and medium custody. It housed men from 1988 to 1994 and then reverted to youthful offenders. In 2004, it became a faith-based prison for female inmates, offering Bible studies, anger management classes and other programs. Inmates must seek permission to be housed at the prison.

Hillsborough Correctional is zoned for up to 360 inmates, Plessinger said, but even at capacity, "We're still not going to be cost-effective at that facility."

March 17, 2011 at 09:48 AM | Permalink


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Is an entire faith-based prison constitutional? I guess it could be, if no one particular faith gets top billing. Still, have the courts answered this question?

I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just curious.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Mar 17, 2011 12:47:18 PM

I like what you have said,it is really helpful to me,thanks!

Posted by: Big pony | Apr 11, 2011 7:55:27 AM

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