Forgotten Majority is pleased to share the comments received from the Florida Department of Corrections as they respond to the concerns of the Inmate Voice Focus Groups. The Department has demonstrated a commitment to making sure that their policies and guidelines are being followed by staff and that corrective action is being taken where necessary. This is a giant step toward providing a model environment where the safety and well-being of inmates and staff is the priority. In the state of Florida, mass incarceration poses huge challenges to the Corrections Department which is fully responsible for the care, custody and control of over 100,000 inmates.
THE FOLLOWING RESPONSE IS RENDERED BY DEPUTY SECRETARY TIMOTHY CANNON
Safety Violations/Unlocked Cell Doors
It has been verified with all shift OIC’s that we are securing all cells at night. Duty Wardens are also spot checking to ensure compliance and the shift supervisors are verifying compliance each night during their daily rounds.
Lack of appropriate heating in A Dorm.
A Dormitory side 1 is fully operational. There has been intermittent issues with the heating on side 2 and this issue is being addressed at this time.
Lack of toilet paper.
This issue was previously brought to our attention and has been addressed appropriately. Adequate supplies remain on hand and the administration continuously ensures all personal care items are provided as appropriate.
Poor condition of buildings/housing areas
General repairs have been made and continue to occur at this facility. It is noted, some of the roofs are still leaking. These are being prioritized and addressed with available resources. Additionally, funding has been requested through the Legislative Budget Request (LBR) to address remaining deficiencies. There is no indication of specific buildings being referred to within this document.
Failure to open outside visitation area
Staffing has impacted our ability to open the outside visiting park during certain periods of the day. The staff that normally supervise this area are often used to assist with processing visitors in order to expedite this process for all concerned. Every effort will be made to increase staffing to a level that allows this area to be available to inmates and their visitors
Concerns regarding the Disciplinary Report Process
The administration has reviewed this process ensuring that disciplinary reports are being processed in accordance with procedure. Adequate training has been provided to Security Staff, Shift Supervisors, Investigative Security Staff and the Institutional Classification Team to ensure that all requested evidence is reviewed; and all facts of the rule infraction are compiled and documented consistent with existing policy. In those cases in which an inmate files a grievance or appeal related to the disciplinary report process, all related issues are reviewed and addressed appropriately.
Visiting Park Restrictions
The routine visiting park sergeant’s have been reminded of the rule documented in Chapter 33-601.721(10). However, we will ensure that this topic is added to the shift supervisor’s agenda to discuss during the shift supervisor meeting. The Duty Wardens will continue to monitor this area to ensure compliance.
Family Notification when inmates are hospitalized or placed in confinement.
The administration will certainly reiterate to the Shift Supervisors and other staff members the importance of allowing inmates to notify their families when being placed into confinement. We make every effort to notify family members of life threatening or critical care incidents involving their loved ones, however we will address the importance of this with all supervisors, as well.
Thank you again for your concerns and bringing issues to our attention. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.
Timothy H. Cannon]