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Miami-Dade Prison Employees Expecting Layoffs Over Prison Privatization

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South Florida Crime

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Health care workers at Miami-Dade County prisons and at eight other county prison systems across the state will be fired soon because their jobs have been outsourced.

According to the Department of Corrections, notices of termination began being sent out this week to nearly 400 employees. Corrections signed a five-year deal worth $48 million with Pittsburgh-based Wexford Health Sources to privatize the system.

The new deal with Wexford is expected to save taxpayers approximately $1 million a month.

Only prisons in Miami-Dade, Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, Okeechobee, and Martin counties were impacted because they were covered by a budget provision calling for privatization of prison health services.

A judge has blocked plans to outsource health care at other Florida prisons because they were not specifically included in the budget provision. The Corrections Department is appealing that ruling.

The transition is expected to go through in March, but no firm date has been set.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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