Warden Noel "Ed" Mercer
Indian River Correctional Institution
7625 17th Street SW
Vero Beach, FL 32968
RE: 2010 Judge Marvin Mounts Prison Tour
Dear Warden Mercer:
Thank you to you and your staff for allowing me to be part of the Judge Marvin Mounts Prison Tour this year. Prior to the tour, I had no experience whatsoever with the State Prison System, yet I had preconceived ideas as to what I would see. Those ideas have changed.
Of the many things that impressed me favorably, I would have to say it was the quality of the people. From the guards who accompanied us to the senior officers and top administrative staff, from top to bottom the people were professional.
I was particularly impressed by the fact that in most of the prisons, there is a large plaque that has the "Code of Conduct" of the Department of Corrections and the professionals that work there. Everyone I encountered was living that standard. Your personnel were obviously proud of the job they do and moral was high.
I was also struck by the fact that some of the facilities we toured were 40 and 50 years old, and yet in every case the facilities were clean, neat, and well maintained.
it is remarkable to me that with a prison population in excess of 100,000 inmates, with aging facilities, and small numbers of personnel that the system seemed to function at such an incredibly high level. It was so clear that these facilities while protecting the public are providing a safe, secure environment for the prisoners.
thank you again for this opportunity to visit your facility and being able to see firsthand the very remarkable job that your people do.