FDC Cancels Visitation Rights Following Visitors Caught Smuggling Contraband Into Prisons

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced the cancellation of weekend visitations in response to significant contraband recoveries at many institutions. 

Michelle Glady, FDC Communications Director: “The secure operation of our correctional institutions in support of public safety is our chief priority. We have zero tolerance for inmate misconduct or the introduction of contraband into our secure facilities. We are taking proactive measures to ensure these institutions can continue normal operations and that the safety of staff and inmates can be upheld. We look forward to resuming normal visitation as quickly as possible.”

Cancelling visitation allows staff resources to be devoted to institutional searches, further eradicating contraband and ensuring the safety of inmates, staff and the public. Normal visitation is scheduled to resume next week.

The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) has zero tolerance for contraband of any kind, and visitors attempting to introduce contraband are subject to immediate termination of their visitation privileges.

Whenever contraband is recovered on a visitor, local law enforcement is always contacted as well and they determine whether to make an arrest.

During the weekends in March, 2018 , institutional staff stopped  from introducing contraband into FDC’s secure facilities:

Florida State Prison: On March 3, institutional staff located cash in a visitor’s bra during an unclothed body search. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Homestead Correctional Institution: On March 4, institutional staff located illegal drugs in a volunteer’s radio. Her access was terminated.

Columbia Correctional Institution: On March 4, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The woman admitted she was in possession of illegal drugs, and her visitation privileges were terminated.

Columbia Correctional Institution Work Camp: On March 4, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The woman consented to a vehicle search, and institutional staff discovered illegal drugs and a concealed weapon. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Baker Correctional Institution: On March 18, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The woman consented to a vehicle search, and institutional staff discovered illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and a weapon. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Century Correctional Institution: On March 17, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The woman consented to a vehicle search, and institutional staff discovered illegal drugs. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Okeechobee Correctional Institution: On March 17, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The man consented to a vehicle search, and institutional staff discovered illegal drugs. His visitation privileges were terminated.

Taylor Correctional Institution: On March 17, institutional staff requested a visitor vehicle search based on credible intelligence received. The woman consented to the search, and institutional staff discovered multiple cell phones. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Hamilton Correctional Institution: On March 16, institutional staff caught a visitor handling a paper bag by her vehicle. Institutional staff searched the bag and discovered multiple cell phones.

Columbia Correctional Institution: On March 25, institutional staff located tobacco in a visitor’s jacket during a search. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Holmes Correctional Institution: On March 25, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The woman consented to a vehicle search, and institutional staff discovered illegal drugs. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Blackwater Correctional Facility: On March 24, a visitor admitted to institutional staff she was in possession of illegal drugs. Her visitation privileges were terminated.

Baker Correctional Institution:On March 31, a visitor attempted to introduce contraband inside the visitor park. The visitor was found with marijuana and synthetic drugs in a concealed package. The visitor was arrested, and visitation privileges were terminated. .

Moore Haven Correctional Facility: On March 31, institutional staff located marijuana during a pat search. The visitor was arrested, and visitation privileges were terminated.

Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex: On March 31, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. Visitation privileges were terminated.

Reception and Medical Center: On March 31, the institution’s K-9 Interdiction Team detected illegal drugs inside a visitor’s vehicle. The visitor was arrested, and visitation privileges were terminated.

FDC Secretary Julie Jones: “The Department is committed to preventing the introduction of contraband and upholding the safety and security of our correctional institutions. Contraband is a growing national issue, and our staff work tirelessly to find innovative and intelligence-led methods to combat this dangerous trend.

Last year we welcomed more than 153,000 visitors making nearly 700,000 total visits to our correctional institutions throughout Florida. We know how important these visits are for inmates and their loved ones, and we are using every method available to us to ensure this process can continue in a safe manner for both inmates and staff.”

The FDC have said they will continue will cancel weekend visitation to ensure the continued safe operation of facilities statewide.


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