Seeking FL Prison Fix; Some Guards Called “Sadistic, Amoral Sociopaths”


After a spate of questionable inmate deaths in Florida prisons and a steady increase in the use of force by guards, a legislative committee has begun discussions on what it described as substantial reforms to the system, the Miami Herald reports. The Senate Criminal Justice Committee heard from a former psychotherapist at Dade Correctional Institution who condemned the system as “riddled” by a minority of guards who are “sadistic, amoral sociopaths.” It heard the interim commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement explain why the department needs to hire 66 more staffers and spend $8.4 million to investigate inmate deaths in prisons prisons.

It heard the recommendations from a prison reform task force that suggested the only way to change the system is to impose a new oversight board that rocks the agency at its foundation, and “change the culture.” Committee chairman Sen. Greg Evers said the goa is to create a system that results in “a change of attitude” at the agency, as well as an improvement in the work environment for corrections employees, who have not seen a raise in seven years. “This prison system is too broken for one person, one secretary or one governor to fix,'' said Allison DeFoor of the Project on Accountable Justice, a consortium of four universities.

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