Florida’s state-run prisons would be allowed to cut visitation with inmates in half to mirror staffing shortages under new rules proposed this week by the state Department of Corrections.
Advocates for inmates and their families object, saying visitation is a boon to inmate behavior and helps maintain family ties critical for the success of inmates returning to free society.
Critical and chronic staffing deficits are straining the operational effectiveness of the state prison system, according to legislative testimony. Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon told state legislators this year that staffing is the most urgent of his many concerns for the safety and well-being of personnel and inmates.
The proposed rules would allow individual prisons to suspend standard visitation schedules and cut the volume of visitors roughly in half to ensure “institutional staffing levels are sufficient to adequately supervise the visitation.”
The inmate advocates said that means visitation will be slashed, because staffing is not growing. The state prison system is incarcerating more than 80,000 people around the state.
“The Florida prison system is perpetually understaffed,” said Molly Gill, vice president of policy for Families Against Mandatory Minimums, or FAMM, a sentencing-reform and family support organization.
“Reasonable sentencing and prison reforms that could reduce the prison population and increase staff retention have been ignored [by] the Legislature for years. Cutting family ties to people in prison isn’t going to solve understaffing problems, and it’s not going to help reduce crime, either. We need meaningful sentencing and prison reform from the state Legislature.”
In a prepared statement, the Department of Corrections described the proposed rule changes as “modernizing” prison visitation policies.
“FDC recently initiated a rule development process for modernizing and defining visitation procedures with the ultimate goal of ensuring the safety and security of all inmates, staff, and visitors. … The ultimate goal is to create a reliable, transparent policy to ensure a uniform approach across 50 major institutions, 16 annexes, and other satellite facilities,” the statement says, in part.
The proposed changes would allow a prison to impose “modified visitation schedules” for conditions such as having two or more disturbances, disruptions, or physical or verbal altercations during visitation between or among inmates, staff, or visitors within six months. Four or more incidents within six months of contraband being brought in by visitors would be another cause for curbing visitation.
Denise Rock, executive Director of Florida Cares, a nonprofit advocacy group, noted the proposed rule is much like one pitched in 2018 that met with skepticism from the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee and was withdrawn.
“Increasing visits has proven to improve behavior and reduce reoffending,” Rock said in a press statement. “Conversely, reducing visits and further isolating prisoners only serves to tear families apart while failing to support a rehabilitative environment.”
–Laura Cassels, Florida Phoenix
Capt. Buford T. Posse says
1. If your in prison for Life…… you get executed
2. If your in prison for Rape…..you get castrated
3. If your in prison for Violent Robbery….you get both hands surgically removed at the wrists.
4. If your in prison for Home Invasion…. you get one leg surgically removed at the knee.
5. If your in prison for Drug Dealing…you get one eye and one hand surgically removed
6. If your in prison for Child Abuse… you get hung by your hands and CANED for 30 minutes a day for the length of your sentence
7. If your in prison for Animal Abuse….you get hung by your hands and covered in honey, then left outside for 4 hours everyday for the length of your sentence.
8. If your in prison for Rioting…. you get CANED 3 hours everyday for the lenght of your sentence,
9.If your in prison for Stealing Merchandise …. you get 5 hours a day cleaning toilets in Walmart for 1 year.
10. If your in prison for ILLEGAL GUN POSESSION… you get 3 fingers on each hand surgically removed.
11. If your in prison for Car Jacking…. you get 7 hours a day WORK DETAIL at a local Car Wash for the lenght of your sentence.
As far as VISITS……. You don’t get ANY EVERY until the day you get out. Or your EXECUTED !!!!!
CRIME PROBLEM SOLVED IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA
We don’t normally approve comments that call for sadism, violence and death. But it’s occasionally necessary to remember who our neighbors are, and how identical their idea of justice is to the most absurd forms of Sharia law.
Chill Captain says
Whoa, A bit Draconian perhaps there Capt’n B??? Time to take your meds.
Deborah Coffey says
You would be much happier in Somolia. The United States of America is definitely not the right country for you.
Jack Howell says
I believe if the State of Florida cuts the prison inmate visiting privilege there will be immediate blowback from the prison population. There is no question about the positivity of inmate behavior because they are allowed visitation. Naturally, it is a privilege that must be earned. It is not a right!
The cutback is going to have unfavorable control on prisoners incarcerated in our state. I believe there will be more attacks on guards and others. Some deadly! Does the prison administration want that, especially with staffing issues? What needs to be done is a complete overhaul of the pay system for the guards as well as incentives. I use to teach corrections and basic law enforcement to young men and women seeking to make it a career. The was always a high demand for correction officers because of the high turnover in this field.
As long as the Governor and the State Legislatures keep their head in the sand this issue of being short-staffed in the Florida prison will continue and may very well have dire consequences if not deadly on prison staff. If you don’t increase the pay, good luck with recruiting efforts!
Over It says
Take the phones away too. They are there to serve time. I am not allowed to have family visits and use the phone for personal calls while Im serving time at my job and neither should they.
Everyone in prison isn’t a bad person. Some people just made one bad decision that costs them their freedom. In which they’re paying their debt to society. However, they have loved ones outside who want to talk to and visit them. So for the ones who are so judgmental and live in a glass house be careful. Some individuals were caught you haven’t been caught yet. Sorry if no one loves you but I can certainly understand why. Taking away visitation will only make things worse.
Concerned Citizen says
Don’t be judgemental? Yet you say you understand why no one loves this commenter and you don’t know the person? OK then.
Deborah Coffey says
Cruelty, money, and a lousy judicial system…the names of the game for Republicans. Someone needs to write the book: How Republicans Make Society Deadly.
There you go again.
I guess you don’t read or care to read about sky rocketing murders, assaults, and robberies in those big blue cities. That’s why the mass exodus from these liberal sh%%holes. They don’t punish prisoners up there anymore.
The Geode says
How can “visitations” be beneficial to an inmate when they were exposed to those SAME people every day and it STILL didn’t stop them from doing something that requires a “visitation” in prison? Prisons are designed to be a deterrent – not Disney or summer-camp
Again, the coddling of criminals is in itself becoming “criminal”
Deborah Coffey says
Please cite your sources for all the data done over decades on incarceration and visitation and how both add to rehabilitation and recidivism rates.
The Geode says
I’ve been to jail a few dozen times and prison a half dozen times. I will “cite” my life story as a first-hand account of something that you require a census or Gallup poll and STILL won’t grasp what I’m saying.
Rehabilitation and recidivism rates? You are definitely out of your league with your woke liberal “clap-trap”. People tend to do whatever they can get away with and obviously, all the lock-ups, stints, visitations, temporary religion, and promises to do better ain’t worth a damn if the consequences or lack thereof is something that a criminal think is worth the risk.
Once I got older and acquired a life worth living, that dumb shit came with dire consequences. My mom, son, girlfriend, or the pastor “visiting” me had NOTHING to do with that decision…
Being guilty of committing a crime is NOT an justifiable excuse nor an acceptable outlet for your sadistic desires to hurt, maim and/or torture others. What makes you any different, if not worse for advocating brutality and abuse of already mislead and damaged human beings? Superman does not fly around ripping the arms and legs off of criminals, does he? If we, as law abiding citizens, don’t hild ourselves to a higher standard in thought, words, action and conscience, then how we stand in judgment of others? Your comment is sick and I suspect, so are you. God help us all.