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Florida Department of Corrections

Pasco Prison Employee Among 7 To Test Positive For Coronavirus

Mar 28, 2020
Zephyrhills Correctional Institution
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Seven Florida Department of Corrections employees who work at separate facilities across the state,  including one in Pasco County, have tested positive for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, agency officials said late Friday.

Florida Shuts Down Visits To Prisons Until At Least April 5 Over Pandemic

Mar 23, 2020
iStock

As Florida's confirmed cases of the coronavirus pandemic rise, the risk of the disease spreading within state prisons and jails is causing officials to rethink how Florida keeps its criminals behind bars.

Governor Ron DeSantis announced Friday that he has created a new organization to help reduce the state’s recidivism rate through increased investment in career readiness training and community re-entry programs for inmates.

Lawsuit Targets State Treatment Of Disabled Inmates

Dec 5, 2019

A group representing prisoners with disabilities is accusing the Florida Department of Corrections of failing to comply with a settlement reached in a federal lawsuit about discrimination against inmates who are deaf, blind or use wheelchairs. 

Ocala dramatically blocked its newly elected councilman from taking office Tuesday night over a 33-year-old felony cocaine conviction. The case is believed to be the first time a Florida politician has been disqualified after an election because of serious crimes.

Gavel and sign saying Public Records
Creative Commons - Alpha Stock Images

Seeking information as part of an effort to address “over-incarceration,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida has asked a judge to require the state Department of Corrections to provide access to records about issues such as tentative release dates and demographic information of inmates.

Ocala Council Election Thrown Into Turmoil Over Winning Candidate’s Felony Arrests

Nov 29, 2019

The outcome of last week’s council election in Ocala was thrown into turmoil Tuesday amid a formal investigation by the city into whether the winning candidate might be ineligible to serve because of felony drug charges filed against him more than 33 years ago.

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A guard accused in a lawsuit of beating a female inmate so severely she was left paralyzed had previously been accused of trading cigarettes for sex, insubordination, harassing inmates and other actions at a Florida prison, according to a news report.

Prison bars
Michael Coghlan/Wikimedia Commons

The state has launched more than 900 investigations into deaths in Florida prisons over a five-year span, with causes ranging from overdoses to homicides, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement official said Wednesday.

Inmate in orange jumpsuit at Sarasota County Jail
Sarasota County Sheriff's Department

The Florida Department of Corrections and researchers at Florida State University said Monday they will partner to study whether treating symptoms of trauma in incarcerated men can help reduce chances of returning to prison.

Florida Prisons Don’t Track Inmate Overdoses Despite Contraband Problems

Oct 11, 2019

Florida’s prison system, the third largest in the nation, has long faced issues with contraband drugs, yet the state agency that grapples with the problems does not track the number of inmates treated for overdoses.

Two 13-year-olds and a 16-year-old sued the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice on Thursday, alleging their health and well-being were put in danger when the state placed them in solitary confinement.

This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major facilities” across the state. Only 18 of them have air conditioning in “most of their housing,” according to the department.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

The former leader of Florida's corrections agency was appointed Thursday to oversee a New Mexico public-private state prison system and parole division that is struggling with rising recidivism rates and overworked guards.

Julie Jones was chosen by new Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to oversee a corrections system with a prison population that has grown to 7,300. It has struggled to hire and retain officers and avoid growing overtime expenses.

DeSantis Names Secretaries Of Corrections, DCF

Jan 4, 2019

Filling top jobs at two of the most-scrutinized agencies in state government, incoming Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday appointed new secretaries of the Florida Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Children and Families.

DeSantis named Mark Inch, a retired U.S. Army major general who also worked as director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, to serve as secretary of the Department of Corrections.

Jason Bellows was a Florida inmate on his way out of prison and back into the real world. 

The Florida Department of Corrections is looking into changing the rules for prison visitations. But, prison officials are getting pushback from different families and friends of inmates currently behind bars.

A package of contraband covered in grass clippings that was dropped by a drone at a Panhandle prison is one of the most recent examples of inmates using advanced technology to smuggle illegal items behind prison walls.

With the third largest inmate population in the U.S., the Florida Department of Corrections is continuing to look for ways to get that number to decrease—even as it’s started declining in recent years. State lawmakers may be coming together on a solution that used to be controversial in the past.

The Florida Department Of Corrections has started evacuating some of their smaller facilities in South Florida.

Security Threat Leads State To Cancel Prison Visitation

Aug 17, 2017

State prison officials cited a security threat in canceling visitation at all of its 149 facilities.

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law meant to help Florida’s inmates.

Lawsuit Targets Prison System Over Hepatitis Care

May 12, 2017

Three inmates filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday alleging that the Florida Department of Corrections is failing to provide proper care to thousands of prisoners diagnosed with hepatitis C.

No correctional officers are responsible for the scalding hot shower death of mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey. That’s according to Miami Dade’s State Attorney, who released a report concluding just that. But, some people aren’t buying it.

Prosecutors in Miami-Dade County said that they found no evidence of a crime in the death of a prison inmate who was left for two hours in a hot shower.

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday moved to intervene in a nearly year-old lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, alleging that the state's prison agency "systematically violates the rights of inmates with disabilities."

Florida Department of Corrections’ probation officers will be working with law enforcement across the state Monday to ensure sex offenders are not interacting with kids this Halloween.

Florida Fights To Keep Lethal Drug Records Secret

Jul 13, 2016

Lawyers representing seven Arizona Death Row inmates want information about the drugs used in Florida's lethal-injection procedure, but corrections officials are asking a judge to keep the documents secret.

Florida Prisons Sued Over Treatment Of Disabled Inmates

Jan 27, 2016

A group representing disabled inmates has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Florida prison officials of discriminating against prisoners who are deaf, blind or confined to wheelchairs, in violation of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Florida Department of Corrections

Convicted killer Oscar Ray Bolin was executed late Thursday for the murder of a Pasco County woman.

Though the U.S. Supreme Court considered a last-minute appeal, the 53-year-old killer of three women was executed at Florida State Prison in Starke at 10:16 p.m. Minutes earlier, the Court rejected the final appeal of Bolin, clearing the way for his execution.

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