jails

The number of inmates in Miami-Dade County jails who have tested positive for COVID-19 has exploded in recent days.

The day Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a public health state of emergency over COVID-19, there were 3,897 people incarcerated in Miami-Dade County’s jail system, the largest county jail system in the state. As the pending reality of the threat started to be understood, a growing number of officials have started to take concrete steps to reduce the number of people locked up in jails and prisons.

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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.

Appeals Court To Hear Transgender Inmate Case

May 17, 2019

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in August in a legal battle about the Florida Department of Corrections’ handling of a transgender inmate. 

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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.

This week, a federal appeals court addressed the right to treatment for an inmate who suffers from opioid addiction, a move that legal advocates say could have wide repercussions.

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Florida lawmakers abandoned a proposal that would have allowed thousands of nonviolent offenders in the state to be released from behind bars sooner in their prison terms, a plan that Gov. Ron DeSantis and law enforcement groups had criticized.

Faced with a flood of addicted inmates and challenged by lawsuits, America's county jails are struggling to adjust to an opioid health crisis that has turned many of the jails into their area's largest drug treatment centers.

In an effort to get a handle on the problem, more jails are adding some form of medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, to help inmates safely detox from opioids and stay clean behind bars and after release.