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New re-entry prison aims to improve inmates' chances outside

Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews talks about the new Gadsden Re-entry Center on Tuesday while as deputy secretary Tim Cannon listens. Photo by Bill Cotterell.

HAVANA -- Top officials of Florida's prison system toured their $17 million new re-entry center Tuesday and called it the next big innovation for getting convicted felons ready to return to -- and stay -- in free society.

"The biggest difference is that this is all about programming," said Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews. "We've talked for the last several months about the importance of preparing inmates for when they get out. When they come to this facility, their day is going to be spent on programs, whether it's adult basic-education, substance abuse or whatever their needs are."

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