Franklin Correctional Institution, North Carrabelle, Florida
June 10th, 2016

Over 300 hundred prisoners participated in an uprising that began late at night on June 10th. According to prison officials, prisoners jumped a guard and took over two housing dorms before proceeding to destroy nearly everything in the dorms. Using makeshift tools, they were able to drill through a brick wall, as well as smash bathroom fixtures, TVs, ceiling fans and sprinkler systems. It’s unclear exactly how long the uprising lasted, but officials reported no serious injuries on either side.

Union officials claimed that understaffing and high turn-over were important factors in the guard’s inability to quell the uprising. “The inmates become emboldened when they know you don’t have enough staff and the staff you do have has little or no training. It’s a perfect storm in the making,” said Bill Curtis of Teamsters United, one of the unions that represents prison guards in Florida. On average, the Florida state prison system loses a third of its prison guards a year. Those left then have to cover the shifts and work long hours. Staff shortages mean that prisoner vocational programs are often cut. For example, FCI only offers one such program: plumbing.

Furthermore, those who are employed to replace the guards often have no experience. Les Cantrell, head of Teamsters 2011, which also represents officers, said the inmates often “have more experience inside the fence than some of our officers have.’’

The uprising on June 10th marked the third such disturbance since January at the prison. In January, a three day uprising involving 1,300 prisoners occurred.

Citations:

Inmates bust through brick wall in late-night riot“, Miami Herald, June 10th, 2016

Background/Updates:

Florida prison officials quell disruption but staff shortages loom“, Miami Herald, January 11th, 2016

 

Article published: 10/8/2019
Header photo source: Miami Herald