Florida’s High-Security Prisons
If you or a loved one is facing a federal prison sentence, you may be wondering what kind of prison you will end up in. Federal prisons are classified into five security levels: minimum, low, medium, high, and administrative. 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. Serious crimes, such as murder, terrorism, espionage, or sex offenses, have landed these inmates in long sentences or life imprisonment. Some of them may also be on death row, waiting for their execution.
The environment of maximum security prisons is the most restrictive and secure, with electronic surveillance, guard towers, razor wire, and high walls. The inmates are confined to their cells for most of the day, with limited movement and activities. The security measures are strict, and the staff-to-inmate ratio is high.
Both of the maximum security prisons in Florida are located in the Federal Correctional Complex, Coleman Penitentiary (FCC Coleman). FCC Coleman prison, near Wildwood, is a United States federal prison complex for male inmates in unincorporated Sumter County, Florida. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), a division of the United States Department of Justice.
The facility is located in central Florida, approximately 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 space of the complex is 1,600 acres (650 ha). The complex, the largest correctional facility operated in the nation, houses 7,120 prisoners altogether, and 1,300 employees, as of 2010, making it one of the county’s largest employers. 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 is made up of four facilities: A low-security facility: FCI Coleman Low (Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman Low). A medium-security facility with a satellite prison camp for minimum-security inmates adjacent to it: FCI Coleman Medium (Federal Correctional Institution, Coleman Medium). A high-security facility: USP Coleman I (United States Penitentiary I, Coleman). A high-security facility: USP Coleman II (United States Penitentiary II, Coleman).
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