Sunday, October 19, 2014
Florida DOC official requests independent audit of use of force in state's prisons
Florida DOC secretary Michael Crews has requested an independent audit by The Association of State Corrections Administrators into the use of force by officers in the state's prisons, according to The Miami Herald's Julie Brown. The audit stems from the nearly twofold increase in use-of-force cases since 2008. As Brown writes:
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...
And these are only the cases that are reported by the officers and the prisons. Many others never get documented.
“Use of force’’ is a broad term. It covers any time a corrections officer uses physical force or certain chemical agents to subdue an inmate deemed to be causing a disturbance or resisting a lawful command. Officers are sometimes named as subjects, sometimes as participants.
Corrections officials know that a significant number of force applications never get reported, said Ron McAndrew, former warden at Florida State Prison.
“There were many times at Florida State Prison where I would come upon situations where I encountered an inmate who had two black eyes, a bloody mouth, and bruises up and down his body,” he said. “I would ask him what happened and he said he fell off his bunk. Well, he didn’t get injuries like that from falling off his bunk.He was too afraid to tell me that he was beaten by the officers.”