WEAR - Search Results

The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

YOUR THREE CENTS: Do you think Escambia County's jail should be privatized?

ESCAMBIA COUNTY   --  Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan says he will turn-over control of the jail to the county on September first.

Morgan says the Board of County Commissioners doesn't seem willing to fund much needed improvements at the jail.

A Department of Justice report found the jail severely understaffed... violent.... and lacking in mental health services for inmates.

One of the options commissioners are discussing is privatizing the jail to avoid raising taxes.

It's a discussion many counties in the state have had... or are having.
In Bay County a private company ran the jail for 23 years but security breaches, overcrowding and inmate complaints were common.
               
The sheriff resumed control in 2008.
Same story in Hernando County, where the sheriff also resumed control of the jail in 2010 after 22 years of privatization.
               
On the other side of the coin, Orange and Salem counties are or were considering a private firm to run corrections, hoping the switch would save money.

And on the state level, a move to privatize 27 state prisons died in the legislature... but the watchdog group "Taxwatch" insists the state could save 30-percent of its corrections costs by having the private sector handle corrections.

Do you think Escambia County's jail should be privatized? Tell us what you think. You can vote right now by clicking here.