Pubdate: Wed, 03 Sep 2003
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2003, The Tribune Co.
Author: Dan Kane
Note: Dan Kane, is executive director of Tampa Crossroads Inc.
Bookmark: (Treatment)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)
Note: Limit LTEs to 150 words


The letter ``The Prison Industrial Complex At Work In Florida'' (Aug.
30) by Robert Batey could not have been more timely. Providers of
nonsecure substance abuse treatment services for the Florida
Department of Corrections have just been advised of a 15 percent
reduction in the number of beds throughout the state, as well as a
reduction of per diem reimbursement for these services of 11 percent.
This is how we get to the statistics he provides of spending $65
million to save $14 million.

We are spending $65 million to create new prison beds, which the
department states cost $48.15 per day to fill. We start with 73,553
inmates, of which the largest percentage, 18 percent, are drug
offenders. There is essentially no drug treatment provided in the
system for the $48 per day. The beds being cut cost the department, on
average, $34 per day, which includes treatment services. So we are
spending $14 per day more to incarcerate than to treat and increasing
incarceration as an option.

No, Batey, it does not seem stupid - it is stupid.

Dan Kane, executive director of Tampa Crossroads Inc

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