Families cry foul after Florida Corrections floats plan to cut back visitation
VIDEO: Families cry foul after Florida Corrections floats plan to cut back visitation A plan is in the works at the Florida Department of Corrections that could scale back visitation from every weekend and some holidays to every other weekend. (WFTV), Fla. — It’s just a draft, but a plan in the works at the Florida Department of Corrections could scale back visitation from every weekend and select holidays, to every other weekend. For its part, the department says changes to visitation will only take place in specific conditions and that the proposed change is still being developed. READ: Early voting down in Florida primary, data shows“As outlined in the proposed rule change, modified visitation and visitation suspensions are clearly defined and will only be considered when absolutely necessary,” wrote DOC on its website. “Our staff tonight will be out there, by themselves with 100 to 200 inmates,” said Dixon in January.wftv.com
Former Florida Department of Corrections Officer Sentenced for Civil Rights Conspiracy to Assault Youthful Offenders
Former Florida Department of Corrections Officer Terrance Reynolds, 31, was sentenced yesterday to 33 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Reynolds was convicted following a fourteen-day trial for conspiring to assault youthful offender inmates at the South Florida Reception Center, a prison located in Doral, Florida. Inmates may be classified as youthful offenders by a court or the Department of Corrections, and are generally twenty-four years old or younger. Butler previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the inmates’ civil rights. I commend the professionalism and hard work of the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General and their close cooperation with FBI for this investigation.”This case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General.justice.gov
Florida Correctional Officer on the job for less than three months killed in training exercise
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Correctional Officer on the job for less than three months killed in training exerciseA Florida Department of Corrections officer who had only been on the job for less than three months died during a training exercise, officials said. Officials with FDOC said Correctional Officer Trainee Whitney Cloud was injured by an accidental discharge during firearms training at the Harry K. Singletary Training Academy in Crawfordville Thursday. SEE: Tesla on autopilot crashes into FHP cruiser on I-4Officials said no other officers were injured in the incident. Cloud, who was assigned to Jefferson Correctional Institution in Monticello, Florida, started with the Department of Corrections June 25, 2021. Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, and click here to watch the latest news on your Smart TV.wftv.com
Florida Department of Corrections denies rape and coercion by staff at Lowell women's prison
The investigation also found, among other things, that prisoners were threatened with solitary confinement if they reported sexual abuse. “FDC (the Department of Corrections) disputes these broad conclusions, as it has not seen facts sufficient to support them. The report, released on Dec. 22, included graphic details of sexual abuse by staff members at the prison. “Some staff abused prisoners through unwanted and coerced sexual contact, including sexual penetration, and groping. “For these reasons, FDC respectfully disagrees with the conclusion that Lowell tolerates sexual abuse or that systemic deficiencies subject inmates at Lowell to a substantial risk of harm.orlandoweekly.com
Federal Investigation Finds Brutality and Rape of Inmates at Florida Prison
For example, the federal investigation found that it was “common” for female prisoners to be groped and bribed with contraband in exchange for sex. The investigation also found, among other things, that prisoners were threatened with solitary confinement if they reported sexual abuse. The report, released on Dec. 22, included graphic details of sexual abuse by staff members at the prison. “Some staff abused prisoners through unwanted and coerced sexual contact, including sexual penetration, and groping. “For these reasons, FDC respectfully disagrees with the conclusion that Lowell tolerates sexual abuse or that systemic deficiencies subject inmates at Lowell to a substantial risk of harm.flaglerlive.com
Senator calls on Gov. DeSantis to oust Florida woman’s prison warden after abuse report
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After federal officials last week released a report about staff members sexually abusing women inmates at Lowell Correctional Institution, state Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, sent a letter calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to “act decisively” and request the resignation of the prison’s warden. “These women deserve better.”[TRENDING: How to get vaccine in Florida | Will vaccine work on new strains? | Strange Florida: Here’s the proof]An investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and Florida federal prosecutors found reasonable cause to believe “varied and disturbing reports” of sexual abuse --- including rape --- by sergeants, correctional officers and other staff at Lowell, which is in Marion County. The 34-page report of the investigation, which began in 2018, also noted that state Department of Corrections officials have documented and been aware of sexual abuse at Lowell since at least 2006.
Florida women’s prison staff accused of raping inmates, other ‘disturbing’ abuses, DOJ investigation finds
According to the report, the Florida Department of Corrections has known about this pattern of staff sexual abuse at the prison since at least 2006. “Lowell has a long-standing pattern of criminal charges, discipline and documented allegations of staff sexual abuse,” the report reads. The investigation found Lowell and the FDOC are violating inmates’ Constitutional rights by failing to protect them from serious harm. Under the Eighth Amendment, a prisoner has the right to be reasonably protected from sexual abuse. “Sexual abuse is never acceptable, and it is not part of any prisoner’s sentence.”
Inmate attacks officer, crashes stolen vehicle in Lake County, deputies say
OKAHUMPKA, Fla. – A Florida Department of Corrections inmate attacked a corrections officer along John Young Parkway Thursday and fled in a vehicle before crashing in Lake County, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. The incident happened around 12:52 p.m. at North John Young Parkway and East Way Expressway when the inmate hit a corrections officer with a shovel and then stole his agency truck, according to the sheriff’s office. [TRENDING: Animal nearly severs woman’s arm at Carole Baskin’s rescue | CDC: Avoid travel to Mexico | Brightline targets 2022 for OIA station]The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was able to track the vehicle to Lake County where the inmate crashed at County Road 48 and County Road 470 in Okahumpka. The inmate, identified as Dalton J. Ayers, was apprehended by law enforcement in Lake County. The corrections officer suffered minor injuries, deputies said, although the Florida Department of Corrections said the correctional officer was “brutally attacked.”“These types of escapes are extremely rare.
Clermont corrections officer charged with inmate’s death
CLERMONT, Fla. – A Florida Department of Corrections officer was arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder in connection with the June death of an inmate in Lake County. Michael Raymond Riley Jr., 27, was arrested by Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies following a months-long Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into the death of an inmate at Lake Correctional Institution. FDLE investigators said the victim died as a result of Riley’s actions but did not state the inmate’s cause of death. “The Florida Department of Corrections has zero tolerance for the malicious application of force,” Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch said in a statement. If an officer acts outside of their authorities and the standards of the Department, they will be held accountable.
Florida inmate who was left paralyzed after guards beat her awarded $4 million
A Florida inmate who was left paralyzed after guards beat her to the point that her neck broke has been awarded more than $4 million as part of a settlement in a civil rights lawsuit. Cheryl Weimar said she was incarcerated at Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala in 2019 when four guards nearly beat her to death. As a result, her neck was broken and she was left paraplegic, records show. She filed a lawsuit in September and shortly thereafter, reports began to surface that other inmates who witnessed the beating were being intimidated by guards who told them that they would meet the same fate as Weimar. As part of the settlement in that lawsuit, the Florida Department of Corrections agreed earlier this month to pay Weimar $4.65 million.
Inmate, 79, killed in attack at Florida prison
PENSACOLA, Fla. – A 79-year-old man was killed by another inmate last week at a Florida prison, officials said. Nelson Sanderson was pronounced dead Aug. 17 following an attack at the Century Correctional Institute in Escambia County, the Pensacola News Journal reported. He was serving two life sentences for sex offenses involving a juvenile, according to Florida Department of Corrections records. Officials declined to comment on the circumstances surrounding the attack or to name the attacker. The homicide investigation is being conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement with assistance from the Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General.
FDC Secretary tests positive for COVID-19 after visit to Columbia Correctional Institution
LAKE CITY, Fla. The Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections has tested positive for COVID-19 after a visit to Columbia Correctional Institution. The FDC said Mark Inch has mild symptoms and will self-isolate for two weeks. Just like the numerous correctional and probation officers and staff who weve asked to stay home and recuperate after a positive test, Deputy Secretary Dixon and I are self-isolating as a result of our recent COVID-19 test results. We both look forward to returning to work as quickly as allowed by CDC guidelines, said Secretary Inch. I want to encourage all Floridians to continue protecting our vulnerable residents, practice proper hygiene, wear masks when in close contact with others and practice social distancing to slow the spread of this virus.The FDC said there has been 1,300 cases of coronavirus related to the Columbia Correctional Institution.
Three inmates in state prisons in Marion County die of COVID-19
MARION COUNTY, Fla. – Three women at two Florida state prisons in Marion County died due to complications of the coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health. Two women died at Lowell Correctional Institution and one woman died at Florida Women’s Reception Center. The state reported the deaths Wednesday in its COVID-19 inmate spreadsheet. On Wednesday, the Department of Health-Marion County said in a news release of the 386 new positive cases in the county, 290 were from correctional facilities. As of Wednesday, the state has reported nearly 1,000 COVID-19 cases at three facilities in Marion: 358 at the Florida Women’s Reception Center, 629 at Lowell Correctional Institution and four positive cases at Marion Correctional Institution, according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
Rising coronavirus cases in Marion County attributed to jail facilities
On Monday, the Department of Health-Marion County said in a news release of the nearly 350 new positive cases, 202 were from correctional facilities. Additionally, 952 inmates at Lowell Correctional, 577 at FWRC and 122 at Marion Correctional are under medical quarantine. Staff members at all three facilities have tested positive as well, including 20 at Lowell, 22 at FWRC and 5 at Marion Correctional. As of Tuesday, 3,228 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Marion County since March, including 51 who have died as a result of the virus. None of the deaths have been connected to the correctional facilities, according to the Department of Health.
FDC investigates use of force incident after death of inmate at Lake Correctional Institution
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Corrections is investigating a use of force incident after the death of an inmate at the Lake Correctional Institution. FDC said the incident happened on Thursday and the inmate was rushed to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. The inmate died from those injures on Friday, according to FDC. The name of the inmate has not been released at this time. The FDC Office of Inspector General will review the incident.
3 Florida corrections officers going on fishing trip killed in crash near Titusville
The Florida Department of Corrections says three of its officers were killed in a crash on Interstate 95 Thursday. The wreck also left a 15-year-old girl with serious injures and closed the interstate near Titusville for several hours, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The triple fatal wreck happened around 5:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-95 just north of State Road 407 near Titusville. The FHP said a 2004 Ford Expedition carrying four people was going north on I-95 when a Kia SUV entered the highway from State Road 407. The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed the three victims were corrections officers who were on their way to go fishing when the crash happened.
More than 2,000 Florida corrections workers are in 'time out' due to COVID-19
click to enlarge Photo via Florida Department of CorrectionsApproximately 2,300 corrections workers have had to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19, Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch said Tuesday.The corrections workers have had to sit in time out after answering questions that revealed they could have been exposed to the highly contagious novel coronavirus, Inch said.I know each one of them did not want to shift the burden of their post or responsibilities to their comrades. Half of the inmates whose results are final have tested positive, corrections officials said Tuesday. The positive test rate among inmates has increased by 5 percent since April 29, according to data provided by the department.The percentage of positive test results among prisoners is much higher than the general population. According to a Tuesday report by the Florida Department of Health, 465,691 people statewide have been tested for COVID-19. Eight percent of the tests 37,439 were positive for COVID-19, the report said.The number of infected prisoners includes seven inmates who died of complications related to COVID-19, corrections officials said.orlandoweekly.com
Coronavirus: More than 2,000 Florida corrections workers in 'time out' because of COVID-19
TALLAHASSEE Approximately 2,300 corrections workers have had to self-quarantine or self-isolate due to potential exposure to COVID-19, Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch said Tuesday. The corrections workers have had to sit in 'time out' after answering questions that revealed they could have been exposed to the highly contagious novel coronavirus, Inch said. Jim Biardi, who leads the unions state corrections chapter, said some corrections workers have already been asked to help at other prisons that can be farther from their residences. According to a report released by the Florida Department of Corrections on Tuesday, 174 corrections workers across the state have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of infected prisoners includes seven inmates who died of complications related to COVID-19, corrections officials said.news-journalonline.com
COVID-19 continues to spread in Florida's prisons
Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell had 89 inmates and nine employees who tested positive for COVID-19 as of Friday, officials said. At Blackwater River Correctional Facility, 48 inmates and 11 workers have tested positive for the virus. As of Friday, 293 inmates and 151 prison workers have tested positive for COVID-19.A total of 680 of the states roughly 94,000 inmates have been tested for COVID-19, according to Friday's report. Forty-eight percent of the 607 prisoners whose test results are final tested positive for the coronavirus, the latest report said. Less than nine percent of the tests 34,728 were positive for COVID-19, the report said.orlandoweekly.com
Sumter Correctional Institution faces coronavirus outbreak
The outbreak at the prison was reported earlier this week, just two weeks after one inmate tested positive for the illness on Friday, April, 10. Testing has so far revealed 44 inmates and four staff members who are positive for coronavirus. BUSHNELL Forty-four inmates and four employees have tested positive for coronavirus at the Sumter Correctional Institution, according to numbers posted on the Florida Department of Corrections website Friday. The outbreak at the prison was reported earlier this week, just two weeks after one inmate tested positive for the illness on Friday, April, 10. In total, 144 state-held inmates have tested positive for the disease in Florida, with two similarly-sized outbreaks taking place at Tamoka Correctional Institute in Daytona Beach and Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Santa Rosa County.dailycommercial.com
113 Prisoners Test Positive for Covid-19, 47 of them at Volusias Tomoka Correctional
Along with the 113 inmates, 80 corrections workers had tested positive for Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. On Thursday, 44 inmates across the state had tested positive for Covid-19. The bulk of inmates who have tested positive are in three prisons: Blackwater River Correctional Facility in Milton, Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach and Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell. At Tomoka Correctional Institution, 47 inmates had tested positive for the disease as of Sunday, a jump from seven cases reported by corrections officials on Friday. Meanwhile, Sumter Correctional Institution saw the number of cases among prisoners increase from three on Friday to 24 on Sunday, corrections officials said.flaglerlive.com
Thousands of Florida inmates have been exposed to COVID-19
As of Friday, 34 inmates and nine workers at the prison tested positive for the virus, according to the corrections agency. The Milton prison, which has a maximum capacity of 2,000 inmates, currently has 760 inmates in medical isolation or quarantine, officials said.Nearly all of the inmates at Tomoka Correctional Institution have been exposed to the virus, according to data provided by the state.The Daytona Beach prison, which has a maximum capacity of 1,263 inmates, has 1,126 inmates in medical quarantine or isolation. Seven inmates and three workers at the facility have tested positive for the virus, with 99 other inmates awaiting test results.Sumter Correctional Institution also has been impacted by the virus, with three inmates and two workers testing positive for COVID-19 and tests on 39 inmates pending, officials said. The Bushnell prison, which can house up to 1,639 inmates, has 484 inmates in isolation or quarantine, officials said.As of Friday, 330 Florida prisoners have been tested for the virus, with nearly 54 percent of the test results pending, according to corrections officials. The number of tests that have been performed encompass approximately 0.3 percent of the states roughly 94,000 inmates.orlandoweekly.com
Coronavirus: Prison outbreaks put inmates, their families on edge
[Coronavirus: Cases in Volusia-Flagler-St. Johns by ZIP code]The spread of the virus to inmates and prison workers has fueled panic among detainees and their loved ones. Even before COVID-19 showed up in the states prisons, corrections officials canceled face-to-face visitations, cutting off one of the ways families and friends can communicate with inmates. The prison has a maximum capacity of 2,000 inmates, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website. By Monday afternoon, officials said four inmates and five correctional workers at the prison had been diagnosed with the virus. But corrections officials maintain they are taking many measures to prevent the spread of the virus.news-journalonline.com
Florida inmates at private prison test positive for coronavirus
click to enlarge PHOTO VIA ADOBE IMAGESTwo inmates at a Northwest Florida prison have tested positive for COVID-19, the Florida Department of Corrections said Sunday.The inmates are housed at Blackwater River Correctional Facility, a prison operated by The Geo Group Inc., a private contractor. Five employees at the Milton prison have also tested positive for COVID-19, according to corrections officials. And the window is closing on the department (Florida Department of Corrections) to be able to get this under control, Jim Baiardi, who leads the state corrections chapter of the Florida Police Benevolent Association, told The News Service of Florida last week.In addition to the two inmates, 26 corrections workers at 14 prisons and two probation offices across the state have tested positive for COVID-19, which had caused the deaths of 218 Floridians as of Sunday morning.Corrections officials have not revealed how many inmates have been tested for the virus. In an announcement posted on the agencys website, the corrections department said it is closely monitoring developments associated with COVID-19 in conjunction with the Florida Department of Health and the state Division of Emergency Management.The Department of Corrections is prepared to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within the state-operated correctional institutions in Florida, the announcement said.Blackwater is one of seven privately run prisons in Florida. Jos Diaz Ayala died Saturday as a result of battling COVID-19, Sheriff Ric Bradshaws office announced on Twitter.orlandoweekly.com
Seven Florida prison employees test positive for coronavirus
click to enlarge Photo via Florida Department of CorrectionsSeven Florida Department of Corrections employees who work at separate facilities across the state have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, agency officials said late Friday.Agency officials would not release the positions held by the infected prison workers, but in a statement said the employees either worked for the corrections department or one of its contractors at five prisons and two probation offices.The staffers work at Century Correctional Institute in Escambia County; Everglades Correctional Institution in Miami-Dade County; Florida Womens Reception Center and Marion Correctional Institution, both in Ocala; Zephyrhills Correctional Institution in Pasco County; and community corrections regional offices in Lake Butler and West Palm Beach.The employees will not return to work until they have been cleared by health officials, the agency said.An investigation is underway to identify inmates and staff who may need to go into isolation after coming into close contact with the employees infected with the highly contagious virus, officials said in the statement.While the number of people exposed to the employees is unknown, the department confirmed Tuesday that three workers at the Marion Correctional Institution have been placed in self-isolation after being exposed by an infected employee there.There are no confirmed coronavirus cases within the inmate population as of 9 a.m. Friday, officials said.Any inmates who show COVID-19 symptoms or who have been in contact with an employee who tested positive for the virus will be placed in medical isolation, according to the department. Symptomatic inmates will be isolated in their dormitories until they are medically cleared, and local health officials will determine whether those inmates need to be tested, corrections officials said.A corrections department spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for information about how many inmates or workers have been tested statewide.But corrections officials said they are working with the Florida Department of Health to monitor and contain potential outbreaks in the prison system, which has 143 facilities, more than 23,000 employees and roughly 96,000 inmates - including thousands of elderly offenders.To prevent the virus from spreading, the department has suspended face-to-face inmate visitations, restricted the intake of county jail inmates and started screening anyone who enters a correctional institution.Only employees who are considered essential are allowed to come to work, the department said.As of Thursday, essential employees included some educators who have been asked to provide as much education programming as possible while programs are temporarily adjusted, according to a memo obtained by The News Service of Florida.Programming will not only keep our students engaged and their brains active, it will serve to decrease the boredom inherent with restrictions of this scope and scale. We see it as our role to promote the safety and security of our institutions by providing positive activity options for our resident population, officials wrote to employees on Thursday.State workers who have to stay home because they have COVID-19 symptoms, such as a fever or cough, are pushing the DeSantis administration to give them administration leave, instead of forcing them to use their own accrued paid time off.During a press conference Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis did not appear to have a full grasp of the type of work flexibility offered to corrections employees with COVID-19 symptoms.When asked by reporters if it was reasonable to require symptomatic corrections workers to use their paid time off to self-quarantine, DeSantis said, I dont know if those reports are true.Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch is a very reasonable guy, so I would talk to him to see whether that is true or not, the governor said Friday.orlandoweekly.com
Ocala jail cant send inmates to state prisons
The Marion County Jail has 31 inmates processed and ready to go to DOC, and officials expect to have four more ready late Thursday. Those numbers constantly changes, jail officials said. And with law enforcement officials arresting people daily, the jail population is sure to increase. The Florida Sheriffs Association has been notified about the change at DOC. In the meantime, association officials said "inmates who have been sentenced to state prison will remain in county jails."ocala.com
Former Florida Department of Corrections Officer Convicted of Civil Rights Conspiracy to Assault Youthful Offenders
Former Florida Department of Corrections officer, Terrance Reynolds, 30, was convicted Friday following a 14-day trial for conspiring to assault youthful offender inmates, announced the Department of Justice. The jury acquitted Reynolds of two counts of depriving the youthful offender inmates of their civil rights. Inmates may be classified as youthful offenders by a court or the Department of Corrections, and are generally 24 years old or younger. Former corrections officer Terrance Reynolds was found guilty of conspiring to assault youthful offender inmates. This case was being investigated by the FBIs Miami Area Corruption Task Force and the Florida Department of Corrections Office of the Inspector General.justice.gov
Nine corrections officers graduate new Lake-Sumter program
Lake-Sumter State College and the Florida Department of Corrections celebrated the accomplishment with an achievement ceremony held at Sumter Correctional Institution. BUSHNELL Nine corrections officers graduated from the inaugural class of the Lake-Sumter State College Corrections Leadership Academy on Wednesday, Jan. 15. Lake-Sumter State College and the Florida Department of Corrections celebrated the accomplishment with an achievement ceremony held at Sumter Correctional Institution. The officers were celebrated for their completion of the new professional development program which was designed to fill a need for training the local corrections workforce. Correctional officers interested in the program should visit www.lssc.edu/criminaljustice or by contacting Bridgeman.dailycommercial.com
Corrections officer dismissed after allegations of inmate abuse
The Florida Department of Corrections on Saturday dismissed a correctional officer for allegations of inmate abuse. Qualesha Quayshaun Williams, who was assigned to Lowell Correctional Institution, was dismissed for misconduct after an investigation was conducted following an allegation of abuse, authorities said. Williams was arrested for poisoning food or water, which is a felony, authorities said.
Florida has hired dozens of 18-year-old prison guards in the last six months
click to enlarge Photo via Adobe StockNearly six months after the minimum age to work as a correctional officer in Florida was dropped from 19 to 18, the state has hired 87 guards who met the lower threshold.The new minimum age, approved by the Legislature and Gov. The turnover rate for correctional officers last year was 29 percent, Glady said. The ads offer same-day job offers and emphasize that no experience is needed for the jobs. Tuition-reimbursement programs and starting salaries of $33,500 a year also are part of the marketing strategy.Another incentive to work at state prisons was announced Monday. Prison officials said they will offer $1,000 bonuses to all new hires who complete correctional officer certification through the department or eligible state colleges.orlandoweekly.com
Prison guards to aid undocumented immigrant crackdown
TALLAHASSEE Florida is poised to deputize state correctional officers as federal immigration agents at a state-run prison as part of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement program. As part of the program, Inch said about five correctional officers would be trained by federal immigration authorities and designated to identify undocumented immigrants who are booked into the prison. Under the states sanctuary-city prohibition, local law enforcement agencies have to hold undocumented immigrants in custody for up to 48 hours if a federal immigration agency sends a detainer request. The governor pointed to public safety as the reason he directed Inch to have the state prison system take part in the federal immigration program. The ACLU and other opponents argue, in part, that policies such as the sanctuary-city ban will force local governments to spend resources to do the job of federal immigration agents.dailycommercial.com
Largest number of new positions under DeSantis' state budget would be in Florida Department of Corrections
click to enlarge Photo via Florida Department of CorrectionsGov. Ron DeSantis on Monday called for a flurry of new spending to alleviate worker shortages in Floridas correctional system, as he acknowledged morale has been low in prison facilities.DeSantis said he wants to boost the Florida Department of Corrections current annual budget by $114 million. The additional funds would create 380 new positions, the largest increase for a state agency proposed by DeSantis for the upcoming fiscal year.A large portion of the new positions would go toward a pair of initiatives prison officials say will help with "exceptionally high turnover rates" among correctional officers, including a $60 million retention-pay plan and a $29 million pilot program that would modify prison guards' shifts. They also said the plan would lower the cost of "unbudgeted overtime dollars. "The wrangling over the work hours is part of an ongoing court dispute between the corrections department and the union, stemming from shift reductions initiated in 2018 by former Gov.orlandoweekly.com
Gov. DeSantis proposes hike in prison spending
We are pleased that the governor is moving forward with something to improve morale, said Puckett, whose union represents correctional officers. To make the shift-hour change possible, prison officials say they would need to hire 292 new full-time correctional officers. When asked about the proposed change to the daily work hours, Puckett said the association still wants to negotiate the terms with prison officials. Prison officials noted in a September budget proposal that making the shift modification would help reduce staff fatigue and misconduct. Inch recently told a legislative committee that his agency is not turning a blind eye to correctional officers' contributions to violence behind bars.news-journalonline.com
Florida appeals decision to shorten prison shifts to 8-hour shifts
Ron DeSantis’ administration is appealing decisions ordering state corrections officials to drop efforts to switch from 12-hour to eight-hour work shifts without negotiating the changes with a union representing prison employees. The corrections agency initiated the eight-hour shifts at five prison mental-health units, after asking the Legislature for money to launch the pilot program. The eight-hour shifts are also in effect at two state prisons, according to court documents. “This was somebody’s brainchild, this eight-hour shift, and for whatever reason, they don’t want to give it up. Instead of reducing overtime for workers, correctional officers working eight-hour shifts end up working two shifts, back-to-back, Matt Puckett, the union’s executive director, told the News Service.
Florida Department of Corrections contractor recording having sex with inmate, report shows
ORLANDO, Fla. - Following independent Florida Department of Corrections' Officer of Inspector General investigations two employees were arrested Tuesday, including a contractor accused of having sex with an inmate. "The video clearly showed COT Pitt and inmate engaged in sexual intercourse," the report said. According to the OIG report, the inmate was housed at the Orlando Bridge as part of a work release program. A Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman said Pitt was a former contract employee through Bridges of America. Following a separate OIG investigation, another Florida Department of Corrections employee was arrested Tuesday.
Florida corrections officer accused of breaking inmate's jaw arrested
iStock/allanswartORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A Florida Department of Corrections officer accused of breaking an inmate's jaw at a prison in Orange County was arrested this week on battery charges as the result of a Florida Department of Correction Officer of Inspector General investigation. According to the OIG investigation, Allen's account in his use of force incident report was "not consistent" with eyewitness statements. The Florida Department of Corrections will fire Allen, according to a statement. "The Florida Department of Corrections does not tolerate mistreatment of inmates under any circumstances. According to the DOC's Inspector General report released in September, 103 employees were arrested in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Inmates ask appeals court to back hep C ruling
Circuit Court of Appeals that said the department has resisted providing the treatment for financial reasons, violating the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment. The Eighth Amendment requires prison officials to provide medical treatment that avoids serious consequences, not simply treat them after a prisoner becomes dangerously ill, the brief said. The long-running legal fight centers on the use of an expensive type of medication known as direct acting anti-virals to treat hepatitis C, a contagious liver disease that can be fatal. Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker in April ruled that the medication should be provided to all inmates with hepatitis C, prompting the state to go to the Atlanta-based appeals court. The appeals court is considering the case as the Department of Corrections faces other financial problems.news-journalonline.com
Another Lake correctional officer arrested after inmate beating video
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A fourth Lake County correctional officer has been arrested after video posted to YouTube last month showed guards beating an inmate, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. The arrest of Lake Correctional Institution correctional officer Ian Gretka was announced Monday. The video, which was recorded by an inmate using a contraband cellphone, shows at least 10 guards on top of Miller. Milton Gass, correctional officer Hunter Lingo and correctional officer Joshua Petersilg are facing charges as well as Gretka. Court records show Miller has been in prison since 2002 on drug charges and a charge of battery on a law enforcement officer.
Report: Inmate's jaw wired shut after beating at Florida prison in Orange County
According to the Democratic state lawmaker, the inmate was at the Central Florida Reception Center, which is a state prison in Orange County, when he was injured. A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed it is investigating the incident. "The Florida Department of Corrections is aware of this incident and takes it, and all allegations of abuse or mistreatment of inmates, seriously. The FDC and leadership at Central Florida Reception Center have zero tolerance for staff who act inappropriately, according to the statement. This assault follows the recent arrest of three Lake County correctional officers who were recorded beating a Lake County inmate.
3 Lake correctional officers charged after video shows beating of inmate
LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Corrections said three Lake County correctional officers have been charged after a YouTube video showed guards beating an inmate on July 8 at the Lake Correctional Institution. Correctional Officer Hunter Lingo, hired in June of 2017, was charged with one count of principle to malicious battery. Lingo is accused of beating the inmate who was already subdued by other officers, according to an arrest affidavit. Correctional Officer Joshua Petersilge, hired in September of 2016, was charged with one count of principle to malicious battery. Petersilge is accused of stomping on the inmate when he was already subdued by other officers, according to an arrest affidavit.
3 Lake correctional officers charged after video shows beating of inmate
he Florida Department of Corrections said three Lake County correctional officers have been charged after a YouTube video showed guards beating an inmate on July 8 at the Lake Correctional... Copyright 2019 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.
As the 2019 hurricane season gets underway, Florida prisons struggle to prepare
Theyve worked with the federal government to secure reimbursement for property damage. And, after neighboring communities were destroyed, the state has struggled to fill vacancies in Northwest Florida prisons, exacerbating an already problematic workforce shortage. Preparations also include providing staffing assistance, such as additional officers and maintenance crews, from non-impacted regions, Rob Keppler, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Corrections, said in an email.Keppler said all state prisons have backup generators in case of power outages. Corrections officials have conducted exercises and developed contingency plans to make sure they are ready for a natural disaster, he added. But plans are in place, and you better be trained.orlandoweekly.com
SPLC adds plaintiffs to solitary confinement suit against Florida Department of Corrections
The Department of Corrections is expected to be served by next week, he said.Michelle Glady, a department spokeswoman, said the state won't comment until being served. But she said solitary confinement is used only when "absolutely necessary. "Added to the case were allegations from a legally blind man, who alleges he was placed in isolation for nearly eight years. He said he began cutting himself "to release the tension of being isolated all day every day. "Also incorporated into the case was Juan Espinosa, who the Southern Poverty Law Center said has a permanent loss of voice.orlandoweekly.com