Florida Jails are Among the Most Dangerous
More inmates died last year in Florida prisons than ever before. According to the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), 428 inmates died while in custody in the State of Florida in 2017 – an increase of 20 percent over previous years. What makes this trend even more worrying is that the average age of an inmate dying is skewing younger and younger. In 2017, the average age was 56.3 years old, down from 57.1 in previous years. The youngest to die was just 22.
What these alarming statistics point to is a dangerous prison system. In fact, Florida has long been considered one of the most dangerous prison systems in all of the United States. Miami is particularly notorious. Dade Correctional Institution ranked second in the nation for inmate deaths for prison systems that did not also serve as hospitals. In 2017, 12 inmates died in Dade prison.
A Day in the Life
So, how accurately does Netflix’s new show really portray life in a county jail? As the series deals primarily with the first and last days of an inmate’s stay, the answer is yes. Most individuals who find themselves arrested in South Florida will be booked into a county jail. First, they are fingerprinted, have their mugshot taken, and given their jail identification. Inmates are then generally given a time-frame to post bond. While most do post bond and are released pending their trial, for those that remain, jail life can be extremely tough.
Florida county jails are typically divided into pods. Each pod contains individual cells, common areas, as well as a recreational court – surrounded by imposing walls. Common areas contain board games, like chess or checkers, while recreation areas generally feature little more than basketball hoops.
In these pods, inmates are only separated by the offense, age and gender – through the reality is much different. In jail, inmates are often separated by race. This isn’t an official rule, but one taken by inmates themselves. This race separation creates tensions – tensions which often boil over to violence. According to deputies, rapes and violence do happen – and contraband does sneak through the cracks.
A Creaking System
The simple fact is that jails across America are dealing with severe overcrowding. This is only made worse by the lowering levels of staffing, leaving many county jails at the breaking point. This is especially true in South Florida, as jail violence – and deaths – are at an all-time high.
If you find yourself being booked into a jail in South Florida, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Chad Piotrowski has an extensive background in aggressively defending his clients from charges ranging from marijuana possession to armed drug trafficking and murder. A former prosecutor in Miami-Dade County, Chad Piotrowski has the unique ability to anticipate prosecution strategies to help build a solid defense to help obtain the best possible outcome for his clients.