Florida prisons

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Shocked by a Miami Herald report detailing allegations of systemic sexual abuse of female inmates by male staff at a federal facility, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is urging the Bureau of Prisons to conduct a thorough review of Coleman Federal Correctional Complex.

Courtesy of Karli Evans

On this Thursday, Dec.5, episode of Sundial: 

Is the Florida Prison System crumbling?

jail hand
Sakhorn38 creative commons / WLRN

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.

Under the settlement finalized in June 2017, the state agreed, among other things, to provide sign-language interpreters for deaf prisoners and to remove architectural barriers for inmates who use wheelchairs.

Miami Herald

For years, male officers at the women’s work camp at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex sexually harassed and assaulted inmates in what amounted to a “sanctuary” for systemic abuse, a space where they were shielded from any consequences.

If the women complained about being groped, fondled or forced to perform sex acts on officers, the inmates were the ones who were punished.

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.

WLRN / Getty Images

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.

WLRN / Getty Images

Access to healthcare inside South Florida prisons and jails is under renewed scrutiny after a pregnant woman with a mental illness delivered her child alone in a Broward County jail cell last month.

George Zuber / Where Justice Ends

Local filmmaker George Zuber's film “Where Justice Ends,” explores the experiences of people who identify as transgender within prisons and jails across the U.S. In the film, a number of trans women share experiences of mistreatment, sexual and verbal abuse and discrimination in the prison system.

A provision in the Senate’s big criminal justice reform bill could make a big impact early on, if signed into law. That impact would come in the form of fewer people incarcerated, and significant savings for the state.

Florida's prisons have a health care problem.

The state's aging prison population and the high cost of treating inmates with debilitating diseases are behind a surge in spending on health care in recent years.


The Future Of Prison Reform In Florida

Feb 10, 2019
Darrin Klimek/Getty Images

Attempts to reform the way criminals are sentenced and how much time they spend behind bars have made little headway in the Florida legislature in recent years.

But following the passage of federal criminal justice reform in December, it seems state legislators from both parties may be ready to take a new look at reforming the state’s prison system.

Employees of Florida’s federal prisons are asking the state’s members of congress to push for a reversal of the U.S. government shutdown. Workers held a rally in Downtown Tallahassee on Thursday.

Courtesy of Dragonfly Thirft Boutique

Shazonia Horton was released from prison a month ago and the day after her release she had a job waiting for her at the Dragonfly Thrift Boutique in Little Havana.

Inmates across America are on strike- inside their prisons - demanding an end to what they say is torture and abuse.

Franky242 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Accusing them of ignorance and bigotry, a federal judge this week excoriated Florida corrections officials for refusing to accommodate a transgender inmate, despite the prisoner’s repeated suicide attempts and persistent requests to wear bras and panties and have access to women’s grooming items.

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