prison_bars_web.jpgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida is planning to privatize 20 work release centers around the state.

A Department of Corrections spokeswoman said Tuesday the 327 correctional officers affected will be offered other jobs.

A Tallahassee judge, meanwhile, heard more legal argument on the privatization of health care services in Florida's prisons. Unions and two nurses are challenging a budget provision requiring outsourcing inmate health care.

The provision expires Saturday, but a lawyer for the state argued privatization can occur without it although the department has not yet decided whether to do so.

Another Tallahassee judge has ruled lawmakers violated the state constitution by using the budget to privatize the operation of prisons in South Florida.

The 1st District Court of Appeal is set to hear oral argument in the state's appeal on Wednesday.