Before Series Investigating FL Women’s Prison, State Touts Reforms


Prompted by a short video promoting a Miami Herald investigative series on problems at Florida’s main prison for women, the Lowell Correctional Institution, the state corrections department has denounced the series in advance, the Herald reports. The video and still-unpublished series are both titled Beyond Punishment. The video includes brief scenes of past and present inmates as well as a former corrections officer, who refer to “sex, money and corruption” at the facility. In the statement to “members of the media,” the department wrote: “This Sunday, the Miami Herald will publish the first of a series of articles focusing on allegations of misconduct at Lowell Correctional Institution and Lowell Annex, a group of facilities north of Ocala housing nearly 3,000 female inmates.”

The statement said the state “has worked with the Herald on an almost daily basis, providing an interview with Warden Angela Gordon, thousands of pages of public records, and answering hundreds of inquiries regarding these facilities.” It quoted Corrections Secretary Julie Jones as saying that the Lowell facilities had been poorly managed and that she named a new warden, obtained funds for capital improvements and hired 115 new employees at Lowell. The state called it “unfortunate that the Miami Herald has chosen to present these allegations in a news article instead of reporting them to the proper authorities” and said “we remain committed to thoroughly investigating their claims to ensure that those responsible for misconduct of any kind are held accountable.”

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