Being incarcerated is never pleasant, but Florida is often considered to have some of the worst prisons in the United States. High rates of violence within Florida’s prison system can be traced back to systemic issues such as corruption, gang violence, poorly compensated employees, and unsafe working conditions.
Some Florida jails lack basic amenities like air conditioning and have problems with guard abuse and hidden drug use. Read on to find out which 5 Florida prisons are the worst.
Martin Correctional Institution
Martin Correctional Institution gained notoriety as one of Florida’s worst prisons after a prisoner secretly filmed conditions there in 2019. The Indiantown, Florida, facility opened its prison doors in 1985. With a current capacity of just over 1,500 inmates, it is the third-largest jail in the state.
The film also reveals shockingly lax safety measures, drug and alcohol use, and a kitchen infested with mice and mildew. The most prominent issue is inmates’ perception of being ignored by staff. The video was widely shared thanks to the Miami Herald, but viewing it is at your own risk.
Columbia Correctional Institution
When the COVID-19 virus broke out, Columbia Correctional Institution, like many other jails across the country, was inadequate. Over 400 convicts and dozens of staff members at the prison tested positive as a result in July of 2020.
North Florida is home to Columbia Correctional Institution, which is situated near Lake City. This prison, first opened in 1992, is often considered to be among the worst in the entire state.
In 2012, a corrections officer was fatally stabbed by a prisoner, and it’s not always clear what precipitated the violence. In 2016, another stabbing occurred, and a schizophrenic inmate who had been placed in protective care died.
Santa Rosa Correctional Institution
The institutional culture of abuse, racism, and cover-ups, along with the high number of inmate deaths, contributed to the institution’s poor image. It’s like the age-old chicken-and-egg conundrum: are the guards violent because of the convicts, or because of something else entirely?
You don’t want to end yourself at Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, which has a reputation for being one of Florida’s hardest, deadliest, and most dangerous prisons. The maximum capacity of the jail is 1,614 inmates, and it is located in the northwest corner of the state.
Union Correctional Institution
In 1989, Union Correctional Institution was the site of the execution of one of the most notorious criminals in American history, Ted Bundy.
Originally, the 18,000-acre Union Correctional Institution land served as a prison farm where inmates performed menial tasks. Prisoners were paid for their labor, but almost immediately reports surfaced of brutality on the part of the guards.
While the facility’s size, architecture, and population have all increased over the years, staff mistreatment of detainees is unfortunately still an ongoing problem. There have been several reports of racial guards, as well as allegations of excessive use of force and illegal solitary confinement. It’s not just guards who have been killed; there have been instances of convicts killing other inmates as well.
Dade Correctional Institution
Dade Correctional Institution has never had a stellar reputation, but the last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the frequency of scandals. Newsworthy incidents and acts of violence were commonplace in 2014.
A prisoner was thrown into the shower and subjected to hours of torture with burning hot water before being slain by guards. Although this was the first fatality associated with such treatment, it was not the first time an inmate has been subjected to it (at least eight other detainees have claimed similar experiences).
A short time later, another inmate was discovered strangled to death. The deceased inmate had previously expressed concern about his cellmate, who was later formally accused of murder.
This article lists the state’s five worst prisons. They are known for high-profile violence and poor living conditions. The Florida Department of Corrections must address prison issues immediately. Reduce overcrowding, hire more employees, and improve staff training. The department must also establish a culture of responsibility for workers who abuse inmates. Florida’s prisons will remain dangerous and neglectful unless these adjustments are enacted.