Save Bridges of America from the Florida DOC
  • Petitioned Kenneth Tucker

This petition was delivered to:

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary
Kenneth Tucker
Florida Department of Corrections Deputy Secretary
Michael Crews
Florida Department of Corrections Assistant Secretary of Re-Entry
William Carr
State Senate District 25
Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff
State Representative
Representative Ray Pilon
State Representative
Representative Gayle Harrell
State Representative
Representative Darren Soto
State Representative
Representative James Grant
State Representative
Representative Rich Glorioso
State Senator
Senator JD Alexander
State Representative
Representative Denise Grimsley
State Representative
Representative Eric Eisnaugle
Florida Governor

Save Bridges of America from the Florida DOC

    1. Alison Chambers
    2. Petition by

      Alison Chambers

      Rockland, ME

  1.  
  2.   
March 2012

Victory

We're all still reeling from our victory and we couldn't have done it without change.org!

Florida DOC Plan to Close Inmate Re-entry Program Threatens Public Safety, Private-Sector Jobs, Tax Dollars

At the end of March, the Florida Department of Corrections intends to close two of the most successful inmate re-entry programs in the state - the Broward County Bridge and the Bradenton Bridge.

These closures are bad public policy, jeopardizing public safety, eliminating private-sector jobs and costing taxpayers more.

Fixing a broken corrections system

*Every year in Florida, up to 40,000 inmates are released back into society at one minute past midnight on the day their sentences are up with $50, a bus ticket to a destination within 200 miles, the clothes on their backs and no personal identification.

*Four out of 10 have serious psychological problems that are controlled by medication. Yet, these inmates are released with a limited amount of medication and many don't have any way to get more when they run out.

*These released inmates have virtually no hope of successfully transitioning back into society and, without cost-saving transition programs available, too many will eventually return to expensive prison cells.

Bridges of America programs are proven successes

*Bridges programs are so successful that only 1 in 10 participants return to prison after three years. In contrast, among inmates who leave state prisons without re-entry services, 3 in 10 are back in prison in two years and 4 in 10 return in three years.

*for the 18 months prior to release from prison, inmates receive drug traeatment, education, life skills training, help with family reunification and jobs to ensure they have every opportunity to succeed when they leave prison

Ending these programs has dire consequences

*The decision to end this contract will abruptly put more than 300 inmates who are on the path to successful re-entry back in prison. It would cost Florida taxpayers an additional $1 million a year to send the 332 inmate slots served by the Bridges program in Bradenton and Broward back to the state's general prison population.

Closing these successful programs will eliminate more than 70 private-sector jobs at a time when Gov. Rick Scott is trying to put Floridians back to work.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. We did it! Prison system will save two inmate re-entry centers!

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all! By signing this petition, you've made a difference in MANY lives.

    2. Reached 1,500 signatures
    3. Allison DeFoor: Let's look at the prison cuts in a different way

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      "It's time to stop wishing for better results from the same old approach. This time, let's get better results by doing what works. Fortunately, the Legislature is starting to ask these very questions. It is time."

    4. Fort Lauderdale inmate work-release center to close

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Several supporters of a Fort Lauderdale inmate work-release center turned out Friday to voice their dismay and opposition to its pending closure.

      Many, including local clergy and businessmen, touted the center's rehabilitative programs, and some called the Florida Department of Corrections' decision to close it "devastating."

    5. For Immediate Release - Bridges of America press release

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Broward and Manatee Communities Decry Closure of Programs to Help Inmates Successfully Re­Enter Society: Cuts jeopardize public safety, private sector jobs, tax dollars

    6. Sun Sentinel Editorial Handout

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      It’s not too late for the Florida Legislature to find the money to keep the program going until full funding can be restored. It’s the best option if Florida is serious about cutting costly recidivism rates and more importantly help non-violent offenders find a better life outside of prison.

    7. Officials, inmates protest shutdown of Bradenton work release center

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Local officials and current and former Bradenton Bridge inmates gathered at the conference to highlight the importance of the facility, which offers inmates counseling, classes and employment opportunities.

    8. Plan to close prison re-entry centers angers lawmakers

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      "Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, blasted the state for axing the centers. "Why would we want to get rid of programs that work?" he said. "It's absolutely crazy."

    9. Bradenton Inmate re-enter Program in Jeopardy

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      "Every year in Florida, up to 40,000 inmates are released from prison with only $50 and a bus ticket. That's where inmate re-entry programs serve as a bridge between life behind bars and freedom."

    10. 3/12/12 Criminal and Civil Justice Budget Conference

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Watch Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff and State Representatives as they confront the DOC about the closures and hold them accountable for their actions.

    11. Lawmakers incensed over prison re-entry closings

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      The final days of a legislative session is the worst time for a state agency to create a full-blown political disaster, but that's what happened Friday with the Department of Corrections.

    12. Elected Officials demand answers from DOC!

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Dear Bridges of America Friends & Advocates - please take five minutes of your time to THANK the following elected officials.

      In the Criminal & Civil Justice Appropriations Budget conference just now they ALL asked DOC what the justification was for closing our facilities. They ALL want answers and will do whatever it takes to STOP DOC. PLEASE THANK THEM!

      Representative Ray Pilon (ray.pilon@myfloridahouse.gov)
      Representative Rich Glorioso (rich.glorioso@myfloridahouse.​gov)
      Representative James Grant (james.grant@myfloridahouse.go​v)
      Representative Eric Eisnaugle (eric.eisnaugle@myfloridahouse​.gov)
      Representative Gayle Harrell (gayle.harrell@myfloridahouse.​gov)
      Representative Darren Soto (darren.soto@myfloridahouse.go​v)
      Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff (bogdanoff.ellyn.web@flsenate.​gov)

    13. Reached 1,000 signatures
    14. Reached 250 signatures
    15. Please email your testimonials and stories to kkuehn@bridgesofamerica.org

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Hi everyone! Please email your stories and testimonials about either Bridges facility to kkuehn@bridgesofamerica.org. She's compiling them to include in a very important letter to the Governor. Thank you so much!!

    16. Debt-ridden prison system shuts re-entry centers

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      The decision drew immediate criticism from Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, the Fort Lauderdale Republican who chairs the Senate budget subcommittee on criminal justice. "That makes no sense. Re-entry is cheaper," Bogdanoff said.

    17. Reached 200 signatures
    18. I added the details to the petition!

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      We are now petitioning Governor Rick Scott, Dept. of Corrections Secretary, Kenneth Tucker; Dept. of Corrections Deputy Secretary, Michael Crews and Dept. of Corrections Asst. Secretary of Re-Entry, William Carr.

    19. Reached 50 signatures
    20. As of today, 2/28/12, we apparently only have 48 hours to rise up!

      Alison Chambers
      Petition Organizer

      Please find it within yourselves to act as soon as possible!!!

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Kimberly Thompson SARASOTA, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      This is an amazing program that changes lives and empowers people to turn their life around, therefore having a positive impact on their family and the communities in which they live.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Robert Garcia POMPANO BEACH, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      We are employers of one of the program participants. His success at our company is a credit to the valuable programs at Bridges of America.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Darlene Martinuzzi POMPANO BEACH, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      I have a participant in this program working for us right now. He is a good man who needs a chance. Don't take it from him.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • over 2 years ago

      centers such as these are greatly needed, I'm a product of Bradenton. I've been out since march 2008,gainfully employed and being a productive citizen. I thank God, and centers such as these every day.

      we must keep these centers open.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • jessica floyd MACCLENNY, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      i have a freind or two in there and they need this...

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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