Statement by Secretary of Corrections Michael W. Moore
Since the death of inmate Frank Valdez, the Florida Department of Corrections requested and has been committed to a full and complete investigation into the incident. The case has proceeded through the judicial system and been heard by a judge and jury with the final outcome resulting in a not-guilty verdict for the former corrections officers. Many changes have been made since the death of inmate Valdez. As released in a 10/20/2000 statement, the changes include the development of a policy whereby inmate use of force and cell extractions are video recorded, cameras have been installed on Q wing at Florida State Prison, and all use of forces are reviewed by the Inspector General's Office.
As I have been saying from the beginning: the vast majority of correctional officers who work in Florida's prisons are highly professional and do their jobs well under difficult circumstances. I deeply regret that the Valdez incident has caused some to think that the actions of a few reflect on the department as a whole. This was an isolated incident.
When a correctional officer commits wrongdoing, he or she must face the consequences. We cannot and will not tolerate conduct that gives the impression that we condone the abuse of inmates in our custody.