INMATE VOICE FOCUS GROUP REPORTS
1. Columbia C.I. Warden – Monroe Barnes (386) 754-7600
S-dorm, Quad 2 has no windows and the central air unit is not cooling properly. At times it blows hot air into a dorm that has no ventilation. It is reported that the stench in this dorm is putrid and grievances to administration have been ignored. Conditions such as these, fall below the bar of human decency and we suggest timely repair or remedy.
2. Jefferson C.I. Warden – Chris Douglas (850) 342-0500
There are several allegations of a history of violent officer abuse in the hallway of Bldg. 10333022 where there are two holding cells and no cameras to capture the use of brute force in this area. We strongly recommend that cameras be installed immediately to protect inmates and to remove opportunity for abuse by overly aggressive officers.
3. NWFRC Warden – William Churchwell (850) 773-6100
Several inmates in the confinement area still have no toilet paper and are wiping with the clothing they are wearing. The lack of toilet paper is an ongoing repulsive issue at this institution. Those in confinement allege the repeated unwarranted use of chemical agents. And inmates sent to confinement are still being denied the ‘one’ call home, which has been publicly approved by the Secretary of FDOC. We strongly suggest that inhumane practices are halted immediately and that all institutions are made aware that inmates are allowed to call home and inform their families that they have been sent to confinement.
4. Wakulla C.I. Warden – James Coker (850) 410-1895
Inmate accounts with negative balances due to fees for medical treatment, legal copies, etc., are satisfied by applying by all funds sent to the inmate’s trust fund account to the deficit. We propose that 50% of current and subsequent incoming funds be applied to the deficit until it is paid in full, leaving the inmate a minimal allowance for food purchases. This is a statewide issue, not just a Wakulla issue.
Since there are several VISIT PARK complaints, we grouped them below. Some institutions have made up their own additional visitation rules and proceed to rigorously enforce them in lieu of FDOC policy clearly outlined in Chapter 33. The arbitrary add-ons serve only to inhibit family visits, not enhance them.
5. A.C.I. Warden – Felicia Nobles (850) 718-0688
The outside visit park remains closed even with warmer weather. Visitors (oftentimes very few) are made to sit inside for the entire 6-hour visit. In addition, families are not permitted to touch, hold hands, or hug when taking a picture and an officer stands by to make sure touching doesn’t happen. We suggest that this same officer be stationed on the outside park allowing families to enjoy an outdoor visit. This may be occurring at other institutions also.
6. Hardee C.I. Warden – Donald Leavens (863) 767-4500
It is reported that female visitors with underwire bras that beep in the scanner are sent away to the local store to purchase a new bra in order to clear the metal detector. This cuts into visit time and is an added expense for visitors. The institution has responded that contraband has been found in bras. Again, it is suggested that officers conduct thorough personal searches per their training.
7. Mayo C.I. Warden – Scott Crews (386) 294-4500
Inmates called to the visit park must, on arrival to the search area, remove all their clothing and change into alternate clothing provided by officers. A family member reported that the clothing, including boxers and socks, had been previously worn by other inmates and was dirty with a noticeable odor. Being required to put on clothing, especially undergarments worn by other inmates, is not only disgusting and unsanitary but can be the carrier of contagious illnesses, rashes and infections. Assistant Warden Collins stated that this policy was put in place by Mayo’s administration. However, this practice is nowhere to be found in Chapter 33. We suggest that officers make thorough personal searches of inmates and of visitors as they are trained to do. If self-made rules of this nature are allowed to continue, where will the madness stop?
The Inmate Voice Focus Groups recommend that the Secretary or his appointed designee make unannounced visits to the prisons and include a stop in the confinement areas, which are especially troublesome.
We welcome our newest Inmate Voice Focus Group as of June 19, 2013 – Miami, Florida. The next Focus Group will start-up July 2013 in Ocala, Florida. Call for date, time and location.