ARCADIA, Fla.- The DeSoto Juveline Correctional Complex in DeSoto County is home to about 130 teenage criminals and is the work place for more than 400 residents. The state wants to make serious cuts to the prison system. That includes privatizing some facilities and closing others, including the DeSoto J.C.C. Complex. On Friday, the Florida Senate approved a budget that included plans for closing or privatizing all of the state run correctional facilities south of Manatee County. That includes the D.J.J facility in DeSoto.
In a community with almost 10 percent unemployment, closing the state-run facility could have huge financial impact on the local residents. Community leaders in DeSoto estimate that losing those jobs could send unemployment rates to near 15 percent, a figure that has residents worried. Right now, this community's only hope is to appeal to Governor Rick Scott for a line item veto on the closure.
The county leaders plan to meet on Tuesday to decide on how to ask the Governor to use his power of line item veto to help save jobs in the county.