Article courtesy of Florida Cares (4/4/18)
Denise Rock, CEO
Yesterday’s FDOC public hearing on the visitation schedule changes went very well. FDOC reported that over 150 people replied by filing out the Public Hearing Appearance Request Record form. A reporter in the room counted well over a hundred attendees and there were people standing in the back because we ran out of seats!
In addition to the numerous family members of incarcerated loved ones who spoke there were also 3 lawyers, a Psychologist, a school teacher and an ACLU Representative who spoke in opposition to the rule change. Also, we were able to present to the FDOC attorney a letter we received from a retired FDOC Region 2 Director in opposing of the rule change and in support of in person visitation. There were several news reporters and TV stations present as well and we’ve received lots of links to news articles and news broadcasts about the meeting.
Though the meeting was supposed to end at 10 am, FDOC let speakers continue until everyone had expressed their concerns which was very much appreciated. Before the public meeting ended FDOC announced that NO VISITATION CHANGES WILL GO INTO EFFECT THIS WEEKEND, everyone can visit this weekend and continue to visit every Saturday and Sunday until the rule change takes effect. FDOC has also published a written notice on the DOC website stating no changes will take effect. See this link at the bottom of the page: http://www.dc.state.fl.us/se
We encourage everyone visiting this weekend to print and bring a copy of the letter to your local prison in case the information has not trickled down. We called all the Regional 3 and 4 Facilities and there are several them that do not have this information. We are working with the DOC attorney and those prisons who do not have the update to make sure they do prior to this weekend. We are also doing the same with Regions 1 and 2 today.
The next step now is for anyone who has not previously requested a public hearing to do so before 4/13/18. FDOC will then have to hold another public hearing. The rule change cannot be implemented before this the 2nd public hearing if requested. Here is the link to the form http://www.dc.state.fl.us/secr
We have great momentum going, lets continue to spread the word. Thank you!