Last year, a Florida prison inmate at Martin Correctional Institution used a hidden camera to document the conditions there. It showed inmates living in mold-infested squalor, passed out on synthetic drugs, and continuous, horrific violence.
The video documents for the public what most legislators already knew: Florida’s prisons are crumbling. Illegal drugs are rampant. Assaults against inmates have gone up 67% since 2013. The gang population inside has risen 140% during the same period. Turnover among guards has increased 150%. Folks are dying from inadequate health care.
Brutality. Abuse. Neglect. These are recipes for disaster.
State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) has called Florida’s prisons a “ticking time bomb.” Mark Inch, the Secretary for the Florida Department of Corrections has likened our current trajectory to a “death spiral.”