Disturbed by stories of suspicious inmate deaths and systemic abuse by guards, a Florida State University think-tank is calling for an overhaul of the state prison system to stem the tide of corruption, mismanagement and maltreatment, reports the Miami Herald. Florida's inability and unwillingness to address the system's widespread failings is dangerous to the public, costly to taxpayers and fatal to inmates, who are often treated inhumanely, the group's report says.
The Project on Accountable Justice, a think-tank of influential academics headed by a former South Florida judge and sheriff, contends that the state could save billions by cleaning up the Florida Department of Corrections. The report came out as the department's inspector general, Jeffery Beasley, issued his annual report showing that complaints filed with his office nearly doubled in 2013-14 over the previous year. The report also shows that instances in which force was used on inmates jumped 16 percent over the previous fiscal year, and have nearly doubled since 2008.