The Florida Department of Corrections proposes cutting weekend and holiday prison visitation days by about half ["Prison visitation changes spark outcry," June 3]. Another idea, now apparently tabled, was to reduce visiting times from six to two hours. The reasons cited for this change are to save staff costs and deter contraband from being introduced into prisons.

The proposal is entirely consistent with the outlook of what must be the state's most failed and dismal department. DOC knows how to punish. But it doesn't know how to rehabilitate.

According to DOC's own research, 61.4 percent of those released in 2013 were re-arrested within three years.

Meanwhile, each prisoner costs taxpayers an average of $20,367 per year to house. Florida law supports the concept of prison visitation and finds it "is an underutilized correctional resource." So now DOC desires to cut visitation days or hours.

I have made two Florida prison visits in the past year, most recently at Madison Correctional Institution on June 2. Processing visitors started at least 20 minutes late without explanation or apology. Before entering the visiting area, I was screened by two types of metal detectors, experienced a pat-down and had my shoes examined.

By one hour later, every table in the visitors' area was occupied by the incarcerated and their attenders. Facilities would be overwhelmed if visiting days would be cut.

DOC also implies that some prison visitors are responsible for introducing drugs and contraband like cellphones with their visits. Really? Visitors are not permitted to bring anything with them on a visit except what they are wearing. Those drugs and cellphones must be coming in some other way.

Robert McCrie, Lakeland