DOC report outlines problems at Largo work release center

6:02 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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Largo, Florida -- The Florida Department of Corrections says it recently found more than a dozen problems at the Goodwill Work Release Center in Largo that the state says need to be addressed.

READ: DoC's report on Largo's work release center (PDF)

Among the problems: surveillance cameras not properly positioned to see inmates, cameras with foggy lenses, insufficient lighting which created blind spots, inmates escaping the center by climbing a rear fence, the front gate not always secure plus job checks that were inconsistent and noncompliant.

"Whether it's a small issue or a big issue, we don't care, we want it fixed. Public safety again is the number one issue as it relates to this work release center and we're going to make sure that folks who live near that center are comfortable," DOC Communications Director Ann Howard told 10 News.

The center has been in the news recently after one inmate allegedly raped a 17-year old girl and another inmate allegedly killed two people after escaping from the facility.

But addressing the problems with some razor wire and new equipment is not enough says State Sen. Jack Latvala.

"I just think they have more inmates there than they can supervise," the Republican said.

See Also: Latvala calls for DOC review of work release center

Latvala says 280 inmates are too many and he'll make it his cause to get the center population cut in half.

"I just think there is really no reason to have the largest work release center in the state right across a wooded fence from a mobile home park in my district."

The next largest work release facility in the state only has a population of 180 inmates.

Latvala called for the DOC review of the Goodwill run facility after the double-murder and rape were linked to inmates from the center.

Follow 10 News Reporter Preston Rudie on twitter @PrestonRudie

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