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Florida To Fire Nearly 2,000 Prison Health Care Workers in Privatization Move

November 17, 2012 03:55:00 pm

Nearly 2,000 Florida state workers are being displaced from Gov. Rick Scott’s administration because of the nation's biggest outsourcing of prison health care, reports the Miami Herald. “Due to the outsourcing of this function, your position will be deleted,” reads a dryly worded dismissal notice from the Department of Corrections, sent to 1,890 state employees in the past two weeks.

The Department of Corrections signed a $230 million contract with Corizon Healthcare of Nashville to provide health care in central and north Florida prisons and is negotiating contract terms with Wexford Health Sources of Pittsburgh to take over health care in nine South Florida prisons for $48 million a year. In the dismissal letters, officials emphasize that dismissed workers will get first consideration for new jobs at one of the two for-profit vendors, though with fewer benefits. The workers also expect to pay more out of their pockets for their own health insurance. Many make less than $35,000 a year, have not had a raise in six years and live in economically distressed areas home to many state prisons.

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