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 says.
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.
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.
Violence among inmates — especially those in gangs — is at an all-time high in Florida prisons. Corrections officers have been stabbed and beaten, and prisoners have been killed in several clashes over the past several months, the Miami Herald reports.