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In this section you'll find recent developments and news stories that are relevant to our work.

Prisoner: Save money, release older inmates From the Orlando Sentinel

By Roy A. Burges, Guest Editorial I live in Union Correctional Institution, the oldest prison in Florida with 1,043 inmates older than 50. Most, like me, have been incarcerated for decades and have no hope of getting out soon. But when I read the Orlando Sentinel editorial “Clemency for silver-haired cons is a golden cost […]

Why It’s Nearly Impossible for Prisoners to Sue Prisons From the New Yorker

June 21, 2007, two guards at a jail in Baltimore assaulted an inmate named Shaidon Blake, a gang leader who had been convicted of second-degree murder, earlier that year. The guards, James Madigan and Michael Ross, had been ordered to move Blake to solitary after a supervising officer complained that he was starting trouble—“commandeering” the […]

Madness From the New Yorker

Shortly after Harriet Krzykowski began working at the Dade Correctional Institution, in Florida, an inmate whispered to her, “You know they starve us, right?” It was the fall of 2010, and Krzykowski, a psychiatric technician, had been hired by Dade, which is forty miles south of Miami, to help prisoners with clinical behavioral problems follow […]

Agency comes under fire for no-bid prison healthcare contract From the Miami Herald

The Florida Department of Corrections’ attempt to restore normalcy to its troubled prison healthcare system is now tangled in a legal dispute over the agency’s decision to award up to $31 million in fees to a politically well-connected company as part of a $268 million no-bid contract. The contract between the prison agency and Centurion […]

Prison health contract under scrutiny From the Orlando Sentinel

Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones is under fire for signing a $268 million, no-bid contract for prison health services after one of the state’s two vendors walked away from a five-year, $1.2 billion deal three years early. Jones signed the new contract with Centurion of Florida LLC in January, a little more than a […]

Watchdogs denounce no-bid prison contract From the Tallahassee Democrat

The company hired to provide health care to most of the state’s prison inmates stands to make millions of dollars in administrative fees and profits under a no-bid contract that ultimately could be worth more than a billion dollars. The Florida Department of Corrections last month contracted with Centurion of Florida to provide prison health […]

Lowell Correctional Institute shows long history of violence, abuse From the Miami Herald

Patrick Quercioli was big and burly, and with pumped muscles and an elaborate Indian tattoo on his arm, he looked more like a bodybuilder than a corrections officer. Though he was arrested twice — once for allegedly dealing steroids and again, on charges of beating a motorist in a fit of road rage — Quercioli […]

Legislators call for review of Florida Department of Corrections policies as Secretary Julie Jones defends her record From the Bradenton Herald

SARASOTA — The Florida Department of Corrections pledged on Monday to “thoroughly review” allegations of systemic corruption and sexual abuse at Lowell Correctional Institution, the nation’s largest women’s prison. Attorney General Pam Bondi, meanwhile, said she has no standing to pursue any sort of an investigation because the series focused on one prison in a […]

Beyond Punishment: Bartered sex, corruption and cover-ups behind bars in nation’s largest women’s prison – Part 1 From the Miami Herald

Casey Hodge stepped from the prison van, trembling under the weight of her thick handcuffs and leg shackles. The slight 25-year-old was led with a group of other women into a small room and ordered to strip naked. “Show me your pink,” said a female corrections officer, instructing her to squat and cough so that […]

Audit warns that safety at Florida prisons is compromised by staffing concerns From the Tampa Bay Times

TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s prisons are infiltrated by drugs, tobacco and cell phones, dependent on outdated security systems, run by inexperienced and overstretched staff, and are housing inmates who are staying longer — and returning just as frequently. In short, the nation’s third largest prison system runs a daily risk of becoming another headline, according to […]

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