Observations and musings on Jacksonville Politics

Stun Your Children Day at Florida Prisons

Only in Florida.

A total of 43 children were directly and indirectly shocked by electric stun guns during simultaneous ”Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day” events gone wrong at three state prisons, according to new information provided Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections.

Also, a group of kids was exposed to tear gas during a demonstration at another lockup.

Three prison guards have been fired, two have resigned and 16 more employees — from corrections officers to a warden — will be disciplined due to the incidents that unfolded April 23, said DOC Secretary Walt McNeil. An investigation is ongoing.

None of the children in any of the incidents required medical attention or was notably harmed, McNeil said. He said the children, who ranged in age from 5 to 17, were all children of prison officials.

In nearly every case, the guards had permission from parents or grandparents to administer the ”electronic immobilization devices,” McNeil said.

”I can’t imagine what these officers were thinking to administer this device to children, nor can I imagine why any parent would allow them to do so,” McNeil said. “This must not happen again.”

McNeil called the episode ”embarrassing” for the nation’s fourth-largest prison system. It has been rocked by far more serious scandal.

This is only the latest scandal for Florida’s prison system. More can be found here.


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Court: DOC must stop “gassing” mentally ill

From The Miami Herald:

A federal court in Jacksonville has ruled against the Department of Corrections for using chemical agents like pepper spray to control non-compliant mentally ill inmates at Florida State Prison. In court records, the treatment of the inmates sounded savage at times, with guards referring to inmates who flew back and forth between the psyche-ward as “frequent flyers.”

The court decision can be found here.

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