Florida prison system

Dignity Florida is backing bills aimed to change how pregnant incarcerated women are treated. The push comes after a woman gave birth alone in a jail cell. 

The Florida Department of Corrections is asking state legislators to increase its budget so it can address long-standing issues with the treatment of correctional officers and prisoners.

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.

New Plaintiffs Added to Solitary Confinement Case

Jul 3, 2019
Florida prison
Associated Press

By News Service of Florida

Nearly two months after the Southern Poverty Law Center sued the Florida Department of Corrections for "widely overusing" solitary confinement in state prisons, the group has added new plaintiffs to the case. 

Female inmates will now get basic hygiene products such as pads and tampons for free after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act.

A class-action lawsuit has been filed challenging the use of solitary confinement in Florida prisons.

Prison Hepatitis Legal Fight Continues

May 23, 2019
The state may have to pay millions of dollars more in treatment costs for inmates infected with hepatitis C.
Florida Department of Corrections

After admitting they failed to adequately screen prisoners for the highly contagious disease, Florida corrections officials are challenging a federal judge’s order that found the agency was “deliberately indifferent” to inmates infected with hepatitis C. 

By The Numbers: Florida’s Death Penalty

May 22, 2019
barbed wire prison fence
WMFE

Serial killer Bobby Joe Long is scheduled to be executed at 6 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison in the 1984 murder of Michelle Simms in Hillsborough County. 

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.

Florida is an “outlier” in prison systems across the nation when it comes to the use of solitary confinement, according to a 90-page federal lawsuit filed Wednesday that alleges the state Department of Corrections is violating the constitutional rights of inmates.

Health Care Dominates Prison Priorities

Mar 7, 2019
Prisoners crowding around a table
Florida Department of Corrections

Florida Department of Corrections officials on Wednesday asked Senate criminal justice budget writers for $206 million to fund the agency’s priorities, which are heavily focused on providing inmates with health care as a result of litigation. 

The Florida Channel

A Florida judge is throwing out a lawsuit that challenged a new confidentiality policy ordered by the state’s prison chief.

The Miami Herald reports that a Tallahassee judge Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit that contended the policy violated state law.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of employees of the troubled Department of Corrections. They asserted the policy ordered by Secretary Julie Jones was to prevent state legislators and others from asking about ongoing scandals.

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.