(FL) - Legislators have agreed to cut all state money for the troubled Florida Institute for Girls, closing the state's only maximum-security prison for female juvenile offenders.
The institute, the first Florida corrections facility of its kind when it opened west of West Palm Beach in 2000, was to be a get-tough solution for the state's most disturbed teens. But it has been dogged by allegations of mismanagement, violence by guards and inmates and abuse.
"My thinking was that it was one of the worst programs in the state of Florida ... and it should have been shut a long time ago," said Rep. Gustavo Barreiro, R-Miami Beach.
"The providers are out there," he said. "We need better, smaller, gender-specific programs, where girls won't have to worry about having their arms broken or being raped by the guards."