Florida Department of Corrections Banner, Secretary Mark S. Inch

Press Release
September 16, 2019

Contact: FDC Communications
(850) 488-0420

Serious Incident at Columbia Correctional Institution

LAKE CITY, Fla. — On Saturday, at approximately 3:15 p.m., three inmates were found unresponsive from a suspected drug overdose at Columbia Correctional Institution Annex. Security and medical staff immediately responded to initiate life saving measures. Two inmates were pronounced deceased and one is currently in stable condition. Responding staff were evaluated at an outside hospital for treatment of symptoms related to a potential drug exposure.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) is the lead investigative agency on the inmate fatalities, with assistance from the Department’s Office of Inspector General.

“At this time our focus is on the health and swift recovery of the officers and individuals involved. The facility has been placed on lockdown, while we provide FDLE with everything they need to investigate this incident,” said Michelle Glady, Florida Department of Corrections Communications Director.

Visitation was canceled at Columbia Correctional Institution on Sunday, September 15. The Department is taking measures to ensure this institution can resume normal operations and that the safety of staff and inmates can be upheld. The Department looks forward to resuming normal visitation as quickly as possible.


As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates approximately 90,000 inmates and supervises nearly 155,000 offenders in the community.

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