Florida Department of Corrections Banner, Secretary Mark S. Inch

 

April 29, 2022

Contact: FDC Communications
(850) 488-0420
 

Statement Regarding Officer Arrests

MIAMI, Fla. — Today, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced the arrest of four former correctional officers previously employed at Dade Correctional Institution (CI) following the death of an inmate on February 14, 2022.

As with all in-custody deaths, the Office of Inspector General was immediately notified of the death and contacted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. These steps are taken to allow for a full investigation and to ensure all parties involved are identified and held accountable.

Following the incident, FDC Secretary Ricky Dixon and other agency leaders immediately traveled to Dade CI to assess the facility and to direct immediate action. Below is a summary of the actions FDC has taken at the facility:

  • All known individuals involved from the facility were placed on leave.

  • The Office of the Inspector General temporarily assigned law enforcement inspectors to monitor all shifts.

  • A new warden was assigned to Dade CI to identify and address any staffing or operational concerns.

  • Leaders from other facilities statewide were temporarily assigned to shadow supervisors at Dade CI on all shifts and provide operational and staffing feedback.

  • Several mid-level personnel were relocated and replaced.

  • Every officer at Dade CI went through additional mandatory use of force and ethics training, beyond what is required annually. Deputy Secretary Richard Comerford personally led and oversaw a large portion of the training.

  • To alleviate staffing challenges, additional housing units were closed, and the inmate population was reduced.

  • Statement from Secretary Ricky Dixon:

    “What happened in this case is completely unacceptable and is not a representation of our system, or of Dade Correctional Institution as a whole. The staff involved in this case failed, and as an agency we will not stand for this.”

    “FDC is committed to providing a safe and professional environment for inmates and offenders. All inmates, regardless of their crimes have a right to serve their time free from victimization and abuse.”

    Due to the open and active investigation, there is still information that cannot be released. Following the conclusion of the criminal investigation led by FDLE, the Office of the Inspector General will conduct an administrative investigation and additional actions will follow. FDC is committed to transparency and will provide more information when it can be released.

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    As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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