A Northeast Florida lawmaker Tuesday proposed revamping the way the state’s corrections secretary is chosen, giving part of the responsibility to state Cabinet members.
Currently, the governor appoints the secretary of the Department of Corrections. But Sen. Rob Bradley, R-Fleming Island, filed a bill (SB 212) that would require Cabinet members to also sign off on such appointments and would lead to the secretary serving “at the pleasure of the governor and Cabinet.”
Bradley, who served the past two years as chairman of the Senate Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations Subcommittee, has been an influential lawmaker on criminal-justice issues.
His bill comes after months of the Department of Corrections facing scrutiny about inmate deaths and alleged wrongdoing by prison guards.
The bill, which will be considered during the 2015 legislative session, also would create a nine-member Florida Corrections Commission to help oversee the system.
Among other things, the commission would conduct inspections of prison facilities, identify problematic facilities and monitor violence involving inmates and officers. Gov. Rick Scott this month appointed Julie Jones, former director of the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, as secretary of the Department of Corrections.
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