Government

Five Florida Prisons Offering Separate Housing for Military Veterans

By: Jim Turner | Posted: November 9, 2011 10:53 AM
The Florida Department of Corrections has opened “dorms” for military veterans incarcerated at correctional institutions in Santa Rosa, Gulf, Martin, Sumter and Lowell counties.

“We are always looking for creative ways to encourage the inmate population to make positive changes in their lives,” Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ken Tucker stated in a release. “The military emphasizes pride, character and integrity. By housing veteran inmates in the same dorm before their release from prison, they can work together to recapture some of those qualities, while also learning about programs and benefits available specifically for veterans.”

Inmates housed in the dorm must: conduct daily flag-raising and -retiring ceremonies; abide by military standards for the dorm areas, bunks and clothing; refrain from profanity and racial slurs; and attend evening group meetings.

Only vets with three or fewer years remaining on their sentences can participate in the program, which is to be overseen by correction officers with military backgrounds.

For those housed in the dorms, which can collectively accommodate about 400 inmates, specialized prerelease services will also be available, such as cognitive thinking training, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) counseling, improved access to Veterans Affairs benefits and strict military standards for veterans' dormitories.

Currently, about 6,700 of Florida’s 101,000 inmates are registered as military veterans.

The dorms are located at: Santa Rosa Correctional Institution in Milton, Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka, Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown, Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell, and Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala.

The Lowell facility will house male and female inmates.

Contact Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859 or (772) 215 9889.


Comments (3)

Paul E. Carew
11:35AM SEP 17TH 2014
I am currently a Veteran Service Representative. I have worked prior to this for the MA Department of Corrections and after that for a county Sheriff's Department. I have much past working with veterans behind bars. This is a population that is often forgotten. Many times serving time for crimes related to military service, PTSD untreated. Not an excuse just a fact. I am sending this information to a veteran lifers group at the MA Dept of Corrections. Good work FL.
marilyn bowen
7:17PM JUN 17TH 2014
I think it a good thing that veterans are able to have special housing .It would be nice to see older inmates who need special care go to nursing home facilities most of the elder prisoners should not be kept in the regular prisons there isn't anyway they can get the care they need.
Robert Lloyd
4:41PM NOV 10TH 2011
Childish... everyone now is a 'special' person. How many of these vets took part in the illegal invasion of Iraq and the murdering of innocent women and children and now cannot say for what legitimate reason.

But no one is allowed to talk about this without being pelted by neo-con trash..

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