Hillsborough Correctional Institution; the battle to keep it open02/03/12 Lisa Marzilli
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Today we’re going to talk about state prisons, specifically, one located right here in Hillsborough County – the Hillsborough Correctional Institution in Riverview. It’s one of 7 state prisons and 4 work camps targeted for closure at the end of June by the Department of Corrections. HCI is what’s known as a “faith and character based” facility for women and currently houses about 300 inmates.
Now normally you would think the closing of a prison would be welcomed news – but that’s not the case with HCI. Prison volunteers and local legislators like State Senators Ronda Storms & Mike Fasano, Rep. Rich Glorioso from Plant City and County Commissioner Al Higginbotham are petitioning the D.O.C. to keep the facility open.
HCI has hundreds of volunteers who travel from all over the Bay area to help out at the prison. Today we’re pleased to have with us in the studio Sharon Whiddon. She heads up the HCI prison ministry for Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Sun City Center and she's also a volunteer chaplain. We’re also joined on the phone by Michelle - a former inmate of HCI.