Senator intervenes to fix security at Largo Goodwill facility - WFLA News Channel 8

Senator intervenes to fix security at Largo Goodwill facility

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Goodwill-run work release center in Largo is under fire. Goodwill-run work release center in Largo is under fire.
LARGO, FL (WFLA) -

The mission: ease criminals back into society with a work release program--under the supervision of the Department of Corrections.  But neighbors want the Goodwill Work Release center, gone.  "Short of closing it, there's nothing that makes me feel good about it.  It needs to go" said Keith Easton, who lives in the adjacent Embassy Mobile Home Park.

The Goodwill-run facility is facing scrutiny after 2 violent attacks.  Inmate Michael Norris pleaded guilty Monday to killing two men in St. Petersburg in October.  Deputies say inmate Dustin Kennedy raped a 17 year old girl in December.

State Senator Jack Latvala has strong words for goodwill.  "I had the CEO of Goodwill in my office in Tallahassee last week.  I looked her in the eye and said if they didn't get a grip on it, that I would be out there to wave good bye to the last one of the inmates that leaves there."

For their part, Goodwill has beefed things up.  New lights, security cameras, and razor wire will be strung along the back fence.  "I still think it's too large.  They've got 280 inmates there which is by a hundred, the largest of the any work release centers in the state." said Senator Latvala.

Governor Scott wants tracking ankle bracelets for work release inmates.  Senator Latvala wants a Certified Correctional Officer on duty at all times.

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