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Murder of Florida Correctional Officer Causes DOC to Reevaluate Labor Program

July 9th, 2008 by flanews

The Department of Corrections is reevaluating its inmate labor policies after a correctional officer was killed by a prisoner in a work program. Last month correctional officer Donna Fitzgerald was stabbed to death by an inmate at Tomoka Correctional Institute. The inmate was serving two life sentences and working in a program aimed at teaching inmates skills they can use when they leave prison. The inmate made a shank out of a piece of sheet metal and hid in a work closet. When the officer Fitzgerald found the inmate he stabbed her to death. Executive Director of the Florida Police Benevolence Association Dave Murrell said inmates serving life sentences shouldnt be allowed to enroll in labor programs.

It makes no sense to put a violent person serving a life sentence in a position like that, especially dealing with heavy metals that they could make weapons. Apparently he did that and killed Officer Fitzgerald, said Murrell. The whole policy needs to be changed. Lifers dont need to be involved in that program.

The Department of Corrections and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating Fitzgeralds death.

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