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Rep. Richardson finds 'horrific' conditions at another Florida prison and against asks 'why?'

David Richardson at GadsdenWhen the inmates at Columbia Correctional Institution started shouting at him during one of his surprise prison inspections, Rep. David Richardson knew something was amiss.

“I’ve done this long enough to know adult males never want to talk to an outsider in a group setting,” said the Miami Beach Democrat.

The fear of retaliation and being singled out by gangs wasn’t enough to silence their need to complain about the problems they faced at the prison: toilets that won’t flush, no hot water, a majority of showers that didn’t work, broken heating system, cell windows jammed shut, head-splitting noise from an exhaust fan.

“The conditions were horrific — unfit for human habitation,” Richardson told the Herald/Times.

After a year focused on inspecting youth offender prisons, visiting 60 facilities and interviewing more than 225 inmates, Richardson made his first visit to Columbia Correctional on Nov. 23. As he often does, he randomly went into a couple of buildings in which inmates were arranged in quads with two-men cells. Story here. 

Photo: Earlier this year, Rep. David Richardson of Miami Beach visits a K-9 training program at Gadsden Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in North Florida. Inmates are in the background. Courtesy of David Richardson

 

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