Lawsuits Filed Over Closure of Broward Re-Entry Center

May 3, 2016

Inmates are named as plaintiffs in three lawsuits challenging a Florida Department of Corrections decision to close a re-entry center in Broward County.

The lawsuits, filed late Monday in Leon County circuit court, are part of a dispute in which contractor Bridges of America is seeking to prevent the shutdown of facilities in Broward and Manatee counties.

The inmates, Douglas Rahn, John McDougle and Michael Brammer, are in a work-release program at the Broward facility and also receive other services aimed at helping them transition from prison after completing their sentences.

The lawsuits allege, in part, that fine print in the state budget prevents the department from closing the Broward facility without first taking the proposal to the Senate appropriations chairman, the House appropriations chairman and the governor's Office of Policy and Budget.

Bridges of America also filed two challenges last month in the state Division of Administrative Hearings. Those challenges, which have been consolidated, are scheduled for a hearing May 19 before Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins.