Florida’s High-Security Prisons
The kind of prison you or a loved one will end up in may be a concern for you if you have a federal prison sentence. The security levels of federal prisons range from minimum to high, with an additional administrative level. The features and restrictions of each level vary according to the inmates’ needs and risk. In this article, we will focus on the highest security level: maximum security prisons.
Penitentiaries, or maximum security prisons, are meant to hold the most violent and dangerous offenders in the federal system. These inmates are serving long sentences or life imprisonment for serious crimes, such as murder, terrorism, espionage, or sex offenses. Some of them may also be on death row, awaiting execution.
The environment of maximum security prisons is the most restrictive and secure, with electronic surveillance, guard towers, razor wire, and high walls. For most of the day, the inmates are confined to their cells, with limited activities and movement. The staff-to-inmate ratio is high, and the security measures are strict.
In Florida, there are two maximum security prisons, both located in the Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman (FCC Coleman). Near Wildwood, in unincorporated Sumter County, Florida, is FCC Coleman Correctional Facility, a United States federal prison complex for male inmates. The Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a division of the United States Department of Justice, operates it.
The facility is situated in central Florida, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Orlando, 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Tampa, and 35 miles (56 km) south of Ocala. The complex is located at 846 NE 54th Ter, Coleman, FL 33521. The complex has 1,600 acres (650 ha) of space. As of 2010, the complex houses 7,120 prisoners altogether, and 1,300 employees, and is the largest correctional facility operated in the nation, making it one of the largest employers in the county. According to Rachel Monroe of The Atlantic, the prison has held several notable or unusual criminals. Most prisoners, except for those housed at United States Penitentiary Coleman 1, are serving sentences for drug-related crimes, and had not been found guilty of violent acts.
The prisoners at FCC Coleman federal prison are all male. They have sentences of 10 years on average. Female prisoners, which previously were held at the adjacent satellite prison camp, had been raped by staff, and widespread sexual abuse has been tolerated, according to press reports. Due to lack of evidence, prosecutors have been unable to prosecute cases against the employees.
The complex consists of four facilities: Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman Low (FCI Coleman Low): a low-security facility. Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman Medium (FCI Coleman Medium): a medium-security facility with an adjacent satellite prison camp for minimum-security inmates. United States Penitentiary I, Coleman (USP Coleman 1): a high-security facility. United States Penitentiary II, Coleman (USP Coleman 2): a high-security facility.