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Florida National Guard to be deployed to state prisons due to staff shortage

state prison
(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) — The Florida National Guard is getting deployed to state prisons due to a correction officer staff shortage. According to current estimates from the DOC there is a 24.1% vacancy rate.

State prisons have been dealing with safety issues, stressful work environments, and low pay. It has resulted in corrections officer staff shortage across the state. Lawmakers on the Joint Budget Commission approved Friday afternoon a more than $31 million request from the governor to use guardsmen for staff support at correctional facilities across the state.

Gov. Ron DeSantis activated the Guard with an executive order shortly after.

The guardsmen will operate in paid volunteer positions and aren’t expected to have any direct supervision of inmates. Instead, the plan calls for “temporary relief to help support current staff and provide the FDC additional time and resources to hire and train new staff.”