Florida Department of Corrections

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones says she’s outraged over the inadequate mental health care services offered at a facility operated by one of Florida’s private prison health care providers. So, she terminated that contract with Wexford Health Sources Wednesday.

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.

Justice Department Intervenes In Suit Against Florida DOC

Jan 10, 2017
wp paarz / Flickr

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 Changes Lethal Injection Drugs

Jan 6, 2017
Hello World Media / Flickr

In the midst of a major upheaval involving Florida's death-penalty laws, state corrections officials have adopted a new lethal-injection procedure that includes a drug never before used for executions and another used only by accident.

Inmate Re-Entry Facilities Fight Funding Changes

Oct 14, 2016
Associated Press

Advocates for inmate re-entry facilities said Thursday a Florida Department of Corrections plan to change the way work-release and substance-abuse programs are funded violates state law and may increase rates of recidivism.

Florida has no plans to stop offering kosher meals to prisoners, but corrections officials don't want a federal judge telling them they have to keep serving up the special diet, which consists largely of sardines and peanut butter.

Lawsuits Filed Over Closure of Broward Re-Entry Center

May 3, 2016
GOOGLE MAPS

Inmates are named as plaintiffs in three lawsuits challenging a Florida Department of Corrections decision to close a re-entry center in Broward County.

The lawsuits, filed late Monday in Leon County circuit court, are part of a dispute in which contractor Bridges of America is seeking to prevent the shutdown of facilities in Broward and Manatee counties.

Judge Turns Down Challenge To Prison Health Contract

Apr 13, 2016

An administrative law judge has rejected a challenge to a Florida Department of Corrections decision to award a $268 million contract for health services at the majority of the state's prisons.

Corrections, Wexford Battling Over Prison Health Contract

Mar 22, 2016
Associated Press

A prison health-care company is asking a judge to allow it to pursue a challenge to the Florida Department of Corrections' decision in January to award a contract to another firm to provide health services at the majority of the state's prisons.

State Ends Juvenile-Detention Firm Contract

Mar 19, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

After years of controversy, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice is ending its relationship with Youth Services International, a for-profit firm with state contracts totaling roughly $90 million to run seven juvenile lockups.

Now, critics of the Sarasota-based company, known as YSI, are looking ahead to the next round of contractors to oversee the facilities.

The head of the Florida Department of Corrections says she’s asking the legislature for more funds to hire more correctional officers to help with the understaffing problem. And, Governor Rick Scott says he’s backing her amended legislative request.

The Florida Department of Corrections continues to undergo staffing troubles, roofs need repairs, and salary parity is still a main concern among correctional officers. That’s according to a recently completed study looking into the operations of the prison agency.

WMFE

An oversight board has declared a health care emergency at a Florida women’s prison, according to records obtained by WMFE.

Florida’s troubled prison system is going through a bit of a revamp, as it also seeks to retain its correctional officers. As part of the Secretary’s latest endeavor, she’s trying to give the agency a new mission as well as a new logo.

The company that provides health care in state prisons across Florida has replaced two of its top-level 

Governor Rick Scott has issued an executive order seeking to reform Florida’s troubled prison system, after the legislation died over a budget impasse between the House and Senate.

Prison reform may be officially dead this session, but prison reform advocates remain hopeful there will be some meaningful reform for Florida’s troubled prison system.

A panel of Florida lawmakers is continuing a discussion into reforming the state’s troubled prison system by hearing testimony about widespread corruption and abuse within the prison walls.

Prison reform is slated to be a big issue this upcoming legislative session, and a re-do of prison health care contracts will be part of the reform efforts. The new Florida Department of Corrections Secretary says she’s making progress on the issue—something lawmakers are keeping an eye on.

The Florida Channel

An attempt by Florida's new prisons chief to keep investigators from discussing what's going on inside the state's troubled prison system has sparked a lawsuit.

An attorney representing six Corrections Department employees asked a judge this week to block a new confidentiality policy ordered by Secretary Julie Jones.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida Department of Corrections Chief Julie Jones said Wednesday she plans to renegotiate or rebid the state's private health care contracts, the Palm Beach Post reports. 

Florida Department of Corrections

 Private health firms did not provide the Florida Department of Corrections multiple reports on inmate deaths, or provided the information in part or after deadlines, the Palm Beach Post reports.

The contractors, Corizon Inc. and Wexford Health Sources, were cited in 33 different reviews of inmate deaths, the Post reports. Corizon oversees health care for about 75,000 of the state’s 100,000 inmates.

Florida Department of Corrections

The former head of Florida’s prisons is blasting Gov. Rick Scott and his administration, saying they put politics ahead of guard and prisoner safety.

Mike Crews, who resigned in November as Department of Corrections head, told the Miami Herald in an interview published Sunday that Scott’s aides were worried last year that deaths and other problems at the prisons would hurt the governor’s re-election chances and wanted him to blame employees who weren’t at fault. He says he refused.

A panel of Senators got a series of updates on Florida’s troubled prison system, including the status of use-of-force incidences within the correctional facilities and the inmate health care.

During her presentation to the Senate Criminal justice Committee, newly named Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones detailed some areas she says need improvement.

Florida Department of Corrections

The health care company under contract at most of Florida's state prisons was fined $22,500 after the Florida Department of Corrections found the firm did not meet expectations set by their contract, the Ocala Star Banner reports.

Senate Bill Targets Troubled Prison System

Jan 28, 2015

With Florida's corrections system under scrutiny because of inmate deaths and alleged misconduct, a Senate committee next week will take up a wide-ranging bill aimed at improving prison safety and addressing issues such as the use of force by guards.

The 29-page bill is slated to go Monday to the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, which heard testimony last week from newly appointed Corrections Secretary Julie Jones. During that testimony, Jones pointed to problems including understaffed prisons and a lack of training for guards who deal with mentally ill inmates.

Prison privatization has been a contentious issue in Florida—even costing one Florida Department of Corrections’ Secretary his job. But, after the latest DOC head made some candid remarks on the topic, could she now be backtracking?

Pointing to issues with understaffing, increasing numbers of mentally ill prisoners and private health-care providers that aren’t fulfilling their contracts, the new head of the Florida Department of Corrections told state lawmakers the department needs more funding and oversight, the News Service of Florida reports. Julie Jones, the newly appointed prisons chief, shared a wide-ranging agenda that could include terminating contracts with health vendors, News Service reports.

An inmate at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution was murdered in 2012 despite multiple pleas to guards and officials for protection, according to a Miami Herald investigation.

CLARIFICATION: In a story Jan. 5, The Associated Press reported that Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said investigations of inmate deaths has increased 29 percent in the past five years. The story should have specified that the increase applied to investigations of all deaths that occurred while in law enforcement custody or from the use of force. It was not limited to investigations in state prisons.

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