Sending criminals to out-of-state prisons is a 'safety valve' for Florida's overpopulated prisons.
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida, famous for shipping orange juice all over the country, may yet be known for a very different kind of export: criminals.
With the inmate population hovering around 100,000 and the state lacking money to build new prisons, the Legislature has given the corrections department the authority to ship inmates to other states for the first time.
''It's a safety valve,'' says the plan's sponsor, Sen. Victor Crist, a Tampa Republican who oversees prison spending. ``This is not a mandate. It's a passive safety net.''