All of Florida’s 97,000 state prison inmates are on lockdown — and will remain confined to their dorms at least through the weekend — in response to unspecified threats about potential rioting, officials from the Florida Department of Corrections confirmed Thursday.
All able-bodied officers, including new recruits, were ordered to report to work starting Thursday. Graduations have been postponed this weekend so that new officers can assist with staffing and help conduct searches for weapons and other contraband, FDC said. Probation officers, too, have been brought in.
Weekend visitations have been canceled at all 50 major institutions, including private prisons, youthful offender facilities, as well as annexes, work camps and re-entry centers. Juvenile facilities have not been affected.
It appears to be the first time in memory that the Florida prison system has been locked down for an indefinite period of time.
The agency has not said specifically what led to the lockdown, other than that the department had received “credible intelligence’’ that “small groups’’ of inmates were planning to cause disturbances.
“Everything we are doing is based on the safety of the institutions, the staff and the inmates,’’ said Michelle Glady, FDC spokeswoman.
“These steps are being taken out of an abundance of caution,’’ she said.
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Source: Miami Herald