Friday, February 3, 2012

Activist Gathers 23,000 Signatures Against Prison Privatization

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Florida Department of Corrections activist took it upon herself to circulate an anti-prison privatization petition and gathered more than 23,000 signatures in just five days.

Christina Bullins, a Miami probation officer supervisor, started the petition Sunday using Just 48 hours later, 10,000 people signed. As of today, more than 23,170 people have signed the petition.

"I'm beyond thrilled – and both honored and humbled at the same time – to have done this," Bullins said. "It just shows that Florida citizens are extremely worried about the dangers of private prisons and the devastating impact it will have on thousands of corrections officers."

The petition said the privatization plan "will compromise public safety, cause unemployment, and hurt communities and small businesses across Florida."

In a letter asking people to sign the petition, Bullins wrote, "Did you know that private prisons do not chase escaped inmates past the perimeter like the public prisons do, which means more escaped prisoners in our communities? And private prison corporations have often failed to live up to legal requirements in the past. This bill will just make the problem worse."

Bullins is a member of Teamsters Local 2011, which represents Florida Department of Corrections Officers. FDOC officers from every region in the state came to Tallahassee daily for the past two weeks to lobby against the prison privatization bill. Bullins testified against the bill before the Senate Rules Committee on Jan. 18.

Bullins said she hopes to come to Tallahassee again to deliver the signatures in person to the Senate leadership.

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