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The Florida National Guard is activated by Governor DeSantis

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

As corrections officers face staffing issues at prisons, Florida's governor activated the state National Guard.

It was stated in the governor’s order that the Department of Corrections may employ almost a quarter of all state employees, with over 20,000 correctional and correctional probation officers authorized to work there. The governor noted a shortage of officers currently poses a threat to the safety of inmates, officers, and the public.

“We think, as we continue to hire and reduce the stress on the compounds, the existing officers are going to want to stay because they’re not going to work that amount of overtime they’re currently working,” Department of Corrections Chief Financial Officer Mark Tallent told WPTV. “They’re going to have a better family life, be able to get out of the institution more. We definitely think we’re trending in the right direction.”

Some institutions will receive National Guard members as a supplemental security measure, according to the state's corrections agency. A prison warden or similar staff member will supervise them, the agency said.

Florida's correctional officers can rely on the Guard to assist them with certain tasks, such as manning guard towers, perimeter patrols, and control stations, because they have the necessary training and capability. This will allow correctional officers to focus on direct supervision and care for inmates, according to the Republican governor's order.

12 Sep 2022

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