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Prisons and Jails
Category archives for: Prisons and Jails

Continuing Brutality in Florida Prisons: 11 Guards Arrested Following Inmate Abuse

| September 13, 2014

On Wednesday, five prison guards were arrested for allegedly stomping on a handcuffed and shackled inmate at the Northwest Florida Reception Center last month. A sixth — a captain — was also charged with taking part in the attack and lying about it.

New Flagler Jail and Sheriff’s HQ Cost Estimates Stun Officials, Who Call It “A Setback”

| July 7, 2014

Construction cost estimates for the new jail came in at $22 million, far more than the county’s plan for $14 to $15 million, while the Sheriff’s Operations Center at the old Memorial Hospital came in at $6.2 million, instead of around $5 million.

Impasse Developing Between State and Counties Over Juvenile Detention Costs

| June 9, 2014

A years-long dispute over how to split the costs of detaining youthful offenders appears no closer to being settled after the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice held a rule-making hearing Friday with representatives of more than three dozen Florida counties, including Flagler.

Florida Leads Nation in Inmates Who Serve 100% Of Their Sentence, Increasing Chance of Re-Offending When Released

| June 5, 2014

A new study by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds Florida leading the nation in inmates who “max out” their sentences — serving 100 percent of their time and being released with no supervision beyond the prison gates, thus increasing the chance of re-offending. Almost a third do re-offend.

Florida Prisons Want To Slash Kosher Offerings; Justice Department Says It Would Be Illegal

| May 22, 2014

In a brief filed Monday, lawyers for the Department of Corrections argued that the law allows Florida to scrap the kosher meals because of the financial burden placed on the “cash-strapped agency.” The state has spent more than $200,000 on the lawsuit so far.

New, Panopticon-Like 272-Bed Flagler County Jail Set to Lock Up First Inmate by Fall 2015

| May 21, 2014

The new county jail, estimated to cost less than $20 million, will be paired with renovated administrative spaces on land that may accommodate two additional “pods” totaling 500 more beds, should needs arise later this century.

Federal Order Formalizes Agreement Between Flagler Sheriff and ACLU Ending Postcard-Only Mail at Jail

| May 2, 2014

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre had nothing to do with a sadistic postcard-only mail policy at the Flagler County jail when he was targeted by an ACLU lawsuit charging First Amendment violations. A federal judge formalized the final settlement of that lawsuit on Thursday.

Replacing Salisbury Steak With Sardines, Florida Prisons’ Kosher Option Raises Hackles

| April 11, 2014

Inmates contend that the peanut butter, sardines and cabbage served up daily by the Florida Department of Corrections are designed to discourage them from signing up for the kosher meals or to punish inmates if they do, and that the chow is far from what a federal judge had in mind last year when she ordered the state to start serving kosher meals to inmates.

Life Without Parole for Juveniles: Florida Struggles to Comply With Supreme Court Ruling

| March 6, 2014

Florida sentences more juveniles to life in prison without parole than any other state, but the pressure is on the Legislature this year to comply with restrictive U.S. Supreme Court rulings because without sentencing guidelines, the Florida judiciary is filling the gap one case at a time.

Rarely Punished, Guards May Be Responsible for Half of Sexual Assaults in Prisons and Jails

| January 25, 2014

The federal report is based on data from all of the nation’s federal and state prisons as well as many county jails. It shows more than 8,000 reports of abuse each year between 2009 and 2011, up 11 percent from the previous report, and extremely rare prosecutions.

FDLE Arrests 4 in Two Convicted Murderers’ Escape Scheme, But Unanswered Questions Remain

| December 19, 2013

The escapes of Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins deeply embarrassed the Department of Corrections and raised grave questions about the state’s security measures, down to the office of the Orange County Clerk of Court, where the forged paperwork landed on desks that cleared the way to free the inmates on bogus reduced sentences.

Florida Sentencing Guidelines

| December 10, 2013

Overview of Florida’s sentencing policies, guidelines, first, second and third degree felonies, life sentences.

William Styffe, 33, Suspected Bank Robber, Is Dead 7 Weeks After Suicide Attempt in Jail

| November 14, 2013

William Carl Styffe, who was accused of trying to rob Hancock Bank in Palm Coast and robbing a Sun Trust Bank in Ormond Beach on Aug. 30, then a Compass Bank in St. Johns County a few days later, died over the weekend subsequent to injuries he sustained during a suicide attempt at the Volusia County Branch Jail on Sept. 18.

FDLE Unsure How 2 Escaped Murderers Forged Papers, Duping Prison and Court System

| October 22, 2013

FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said Tuesday several suspects have been “targeted” for helping two murderers escape from prison with forged court papers mailed to a clerk of court, but the embarrassing incident is still largely unexplained.

Flagler’s Public Safety Council Endorses Court-Ordering Ex-Felons to Evangelical Recovery House

| October 10, 2013

The council—a collection of local police, court and other government agencies—provided the endorsement sight unseen and legalities untested, and based exclusively on a brief presentation by Charles Silano, the local pastor. Open Door Re-Entry and Recovery Ministry will be run out of a former church on Booe Street in Bunnell.

Florida Prisoners Will Wash Dishes and Sew Their Own Clothes in Bid to Save Money

| September 26, 2013

Florida’s prisons have a $45.5 million deficit despite shuttering 10 prisons in recent years, so department head Mike Crews is finding new ways to save money, including refusing to replace broken dishwashers and making inmates do the work instead.

Banned in Flagler, Welcomed in Prisons: Corrections Reverses Cigarette Prohibition in Work Camps

| September 13, 2013

Corrections officials quietly reversed a blanket ban on tobacco at prisons this summer and are now allowing inmates at work release centers to have up to 10 packs of cigarettes each–just as Flagler County readies to ban smoking among new employees.

In a Surprising Shift, County Commission Finds Money for 2 Jail-Diversion Programs After All

| September 5, 2013

Flagler County commissioners Thursday evening agreed to take on a $100,000 mental-health jail diversion program previously paid for by the state, and a $60,000 pre-trial release program they had opposed in earlier workshops. Both shifts took place during a hearing devoted to approving next year’s tax property rate.

Nickel and Diming County Foregoes Program That Would Have Reduced Jail Population

| August 13, 2013

The Flagler County judge and sheriff had supported a proposed pre-trial release program that would have kept low-grade, non-violent offenders out of jail, saving them money in the short term and the county money in the long term, but the county commission eliminated the proposal as part of a $400,000 cut from next year’s budget proposal.

Eric Holder Takes on the “War on Drugs,” Mandatory Sentences and Epidemic Imprisonment Rates

| August 12, 2013

Attorney general Eric Holder on Monday delivered a seminal speech outlining a plan to revamp federal drug policy and incarceration rates of non-violent and elderly offenders, and urging Congress to review mandatory sentencing in light of a “war on drugs” that has not worked. The full speech.

Booked at Orlando Prison, Paul Miller Files Appeal of Conviction on Flagler Beach Murder

| July 2, 2013

Paul Miller, sentenced in June to life in prison for the murder of Dana Mulhall in Flagler Beach last year, will be at Orlando’s Central Florida Reception System prison for a few weeks before being transferred to a permanent prison, though family proximity does not necessarily decide where the system will place him.

Planning for Flagler’s Future, County Talks Library Repairs, New Fire Station and Jail

| May 31, 2013

Expanding an overcrowded county jail, building a modern new sheriff’s operations center, upgrading an inadequate drainage system as urbanization changes the rural character of Flagler and improving fire and emergency medical response west of U.S. 1 were featured in the first of four strategic-planning sessions by the county commission Thursday.

Juvenile Detention Cost-Shifting Arguments in Appeals Court, With Implications for Counties

| May 15, 2013

Counties argue they currently pick up 75 percent of some juvenile detention costs, but should be paying less. The state claims in in court filings that the Legislature actually intended for the counties to cover 89 percent of the costs.Either way, local governments are groaning under the burden.

Duping Court Ruling, Florida Replacing Life Juvenile Sentencing With 50-Year Minimum

| April 17, 2013

Legislation aimed at putting Florida in line with a U.S. Supreme Court ban on automatic life sentences for juvenile murderers cleared a House panel Tuesday, but with a 50 year minimum sentence that opponents say may keep the state’s law at odds with the court’s aim.

Exonerated Death Row Inmates Tell Flagler Beach Group of an Enduring Florida Injustice

| March 23, 2013

In turns moving, startling and informative, a day-long workshop on the death penalty in Flagler Beach, featuring two exonerated men, urged an assembly of 60 to more actively get involved in a movement to abolish capital punishment in Florida.

Responding to ACLU, Manfre Restores His Own More Permissive Jail Mail Policy

| March 15, 2013

Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre has rescinded a policy that for the last two years, under Sheriff Don Fleming, prohibited inmates at the county jail from receiving letters at all, or writing letters longer than two pages.

Beyond Sheriff Joe’s Tactics: Looking at Prison Reform in Florida With Fresh Eyes

| March 14, 2013

Analyzing Florida’s prisons and jails is a revelation of unsustainable incarceration rates and prison-building, argues Milissa Holland, who explores more logical alternatives to end the vicious cycle of punishment and recidivism.

Florida Posts 32% Drop in Youth Lock-Up Rate Since 1997, In Line With U.S. Numbers

| February 28, 2013

The peak nationally came in 1995, with 107,637 juveniles incarcerated on a single day, and dropped to 70,792 on a single day in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. During that time, the overall incarceration rate dropped by 41 percent.

ACLU Sues Sheriff Manfre Over Jail Policy Restricting Incoming Mail to Postcards

| February 21, 2013

Beginning in January 2011 under Sheriff Don Fleming, inmates at the Flagler County jail have been forbidden from receiving mail other than small postcards, or from writing letters longer than two pages. Judges have generally not endorsed the restrictions, which also apply to inmates awaiting trial, who are presumed innocent.

Three-Year Effort to Abolish Death Penalty in Florida Fails in 9-4 Justice Committee Vote

| February 8, 2013

The rare vote to kill a bill in committee, rather than just bottling it up never to be heard, gave death penalty opponents their first chance to extensively argue for a repeal, following several years in which the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, has been unable to persuade Republican leaders to put the bill before a committee.

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