FL Prison Use-Of-Force Cases Double Since 2008; State Orders Audit


Over the past decade, Florida prison Lt. Walter Gielow has been named in more reports of use of force against inmates than any other officer working for the Florida Department of Corrections, says the Miami Herald. With a record of 179 reports since 2003, Gielow and officer Patrick Germain, with 172 reports, have helped make Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, in the state's Panhandle, number three in the state in frequency of use of force against inmates.

In the recently completed fiscal year, state corrections officers logged 7,300 use-of-force cases, nearly 1,000 more than the previous year, according to the department’s data. Use-of-force cases have roughly doubled since 2008. And these are only the cases that are reported by the officers and the prisons. Many others never get documented. These numbers prompted Michael Crews, secretary of the Department of Corrections, to announce this week that he is ordering an independent audit of the agency's procedures and policies involving the use of force against inmates.

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