30 Jun Massive privatization of prison health care looms in Florida
The nation’s largest outsourcing of prison medical care is finally under way in Florida with the state turning to a private company with a history of problems in other states.
Corizon Inc. of Brentwood, Tenn., plans to start work Aug. 1 after Florida won a two-year legal fight with a public employee union that accused the Legislature of illegally seeking to privatize health care in most prisons by steering the decision to a 14-member Legislative Budget Commission.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and a second union representing physicians and dentists won the first round in circuit court. The state prevailed in the 1st District Court of Appeal, where a three-judge panel upheld the right of the commission to approve a budget transfer for the project and ruled that the prison system has “broad authority” under law to contract for services.