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Prison Problems

December 7th, 2016 by flanews

Problems continue for the state’s troubled prison system, as Matt Galka tells us, a surprise visit from a Florida lawmaker uncovered more problems.

Representative David Richardson (D-Miami) has been known to pop in on prisons.  But he wasn’t ready for what he saw when he showed up to Columbia Correctional Institution in late November.

“”This is the worst that I have seen…I saw two toilets that weren’t working properly. One of them, apparently, took about 20 flushes to get the water to go down, and so I asked the inmate how long it had been like that, he and his Bunkie told me it had been that way for about two weeks,” he said.

Richardson spent the better part of last year visiting facilities all over the state.

And even if the problems might sound small – they can grow into dangerous situations. Now the hope is that there can be some fixes legislatively.

Representative Chris Sprowls (R-Clearwater) chairs the House judiciary committee and he knows the Department of Corrections budget will be a big issues.

“It’s too early, it’s too early to say, obviously everytime you look at a budget item, whether it’s something as important as department of corrections, or healthcare, or education, we have to look at global needs and find out where the resources need to go first,” he said.

Overrun corrections officers have had to quell six riots at prisons this year.

Statement from DOC:

Ensuring that all inmates are living in safe, humane and protected environments is a top priority of the Department. Building repairs and maintenance issues are addressed by priority as our facilities staff triage repair requests within each of the Florida’s 49 major institutions. FDC leadership worked to immediately address Representative Richardson’s concerns during his visit to Columbia Correctional Institution and scheduled a follow up visit for this week.

Both the Governor and the Legislature have provided support and significant funding in recent years and we welcome our Legislative partners’ additional input and support as we work to address infrastructure needs at our prisons.

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