Union Correctional Institution

Union Correctional Institution

Union Correctional Institution, formerly referred to as “Florida State Prison”, “Raiford Prison” and “State Prison Farm” is located in Raiford, Florida. Opened in 1913, the prison underwent large scale renovation and restructure in 1961 splitting into the present day Union Correctional Institution and Florida State Prison. The prison has a maximum capacity of 2,172 prisoners, and as of September 2008 housed around 2,100. The institution has undergone large changes, both system and structural, since the opening almost 100 years ago. State Prison Farm was well known as one of the last prisons in America to abolish Convict Lease, in 1923. [ [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html] ]


"State Prison Farm"

Florida’s largest and oldest correctional institution was established in 1913 to house infirm inmates who could not be leased to private businesses. [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html] The initial population of the prison was close to 600 inmates, both male and female. [Bradford County Telegraph, February 14,1919] Given the official name of Raiford Penitentiary, the facility was referred to almost exclusively as “State Prison Farm,” as convicts’ duties routinely included farming the 18,000 acre prison property. The population at the facility remained fairly constant during these early years; the number of inmates needed for the farm would dictate the initial capacity for the prison. In January 1919, Captain J.S Blitch was appointed warden and attempted to bring about positive change to the facility. The inmates were rewarded for their labors in the field with theatrical productions, and weekly baseball games. [4] However, continued reports of guards beating inmates soured the positive image that Blitch was trying to publicize. Brutal treatment of inmates in the convict lease system would lead to the abandonment of convict lease in 1923. By the early 1920’s, the large State Prison Farm property consisted of approximately 4,000 acres under cultivation, kept in large part by the prisoners. Also on the property existed a shoe factory that made 10 pairs of shoes per day. Living conditions in the prison were very poor. The women especially lived in horrid conditions, housed separately from the men in overcrowded, wooden dormitories. [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html]

Race was a major source of conflict in the early years of the State Prison Farm. A study conducted in 1928 of the 1,101 received prisoners show that 674 (61%) of the total male inmates were of color and 427 (39%) were white. Segregation existed in all aspects of prison life, from working areas to hospitals to bathrooms. Eighty-Three percent of executions at Raiford were of people of color, despite the fact that a much greater percentage of the Florida population was white. ["Handbook of American Prisons and Reformarories" 1929. Garrett, Paul]

"Florida State Prison"

Following the abolition of convict lease and the subsequent increase in the inmate population, the prison structure changed. In 1927, a license tag factory was constructed, adding to the already extensive production line of the prison. The Main Housing Unit (“The Rock") was erected in 1928, a major step in the process of increasing the prison population. This building was kept in use until court order in 1985. (“The Rock” remained at the prison site unused until demolition in 1999). By 1932, the inmate population was over 2,000, and a mess hall, auditorium and library had been added. The expanding prison also added a laundry and shirt factory around this time. Shortly after, in 1935, a maximum security building was constructed, the “Flat Top.” This proved vital in the expansion of the center, as from this stage forward the prison would remain a maximum security facility. This was also the year the “West Unit” was built to house female offenders which remained in use until 1954 when the Florida Correctional institution in Ocala was opened and all the female inmates were transferred from Raiford to the new facility (The West Unit remained in use as a medical facility until 1968.) In 1955, the “East Unit,” a new maximum security facility was completed. [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html]

Union Correctional Institution

The East Unit became a separate institution in 1961, renamed Florida State Prison. Construction would continue on this site until 1972. The original prison site became known as Union Correctional Institution, as it is still known today. A new Death Row was constructed in 1992, coinciding with the relocation of inmates from the State Prison next door. [http://www.oranous.com/florida/Raiford.html] The present-day facility still uses many of the older buildings, some since before the prison split in 1961. Union C.I. remains a maximum-security prison today, still one of the primary prisons in Florida. The prison has an eclectic range of facilities, from hearing impaired and elderly accommodation to designated confinement space. The prison also has a variety of living residences, such as cell units, house units and self contained houses. [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html]

A 1999 report by the St. Petersburg Times took a detailed look into issues of racism and diversity in the Union Correctional Institution. The report stated that more than half of the inmates were black, and more than 75% of the guards were white. This alone was grounds for racial tension. Several officers and inmates reported a clique of racist guards, distinguishable by the cord key chains they would wear. Problems turned out to be far more significant, however, after a review of public records and court files revealed over 100 black agency employees were involved in law suits alleging rampant racism and discrimination in the prison system. Perhaps worst of these allegations, a black recreation manager once arrived at his desk to find across his bulletin board the letters “KKK”. The report also included the story of a 1993 incident; inmates on death-row were exposed to a man wearing a KKK-style white sheet walking by their cells. [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/47420794.html?dids=47420794:47420794&FMT=FT&FMTS=CITE:FT&date=Dec+22%2C+1999&author=&pub=St.+Petersburg+Times&edition=&startpage=20.A&desc=Diversify+Corrections+Series%3A+EDITORIALS]

Notable inmates

*Oba Chandler - Convicted of a 1989 murder of an Ohio family,has been on death row since 1994. Are on the Florida short-list for executions.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lebanon Correctional Institution — The Lebanon Correctional Institution is a prison operated by the U.S. state of Ohio s Department of Corrections and Rehabilition in Warren County s Turtlecreek Township, about four miles west of Lebanon and two miles east of Monroe on State Route …   Wikipedia

  • Warren Correctional Institution — The Warren Correctional Institution is a prison operated by the State of Ohio s Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in Warren County s Turtlecreek Township.The prison, which opened in 1989, sits on 45 acres (182,000 m²) of land, part of… …   Wikipedia

  • Union County, Florida — Infobox U.S. County county = Union County state = Florida map size = 250 founded = 20 May 1921 seat = Lake Butler | area total sq mi =250 area land sq mi =240 area water sq mi =9 area percentage = 3.77% census yr = 2000 pop = 13442 density km2… …   Wikipedia

  • Correctional Service of Canada — Service correctionnel du Canada Common name Corrections Canada Abbreviation CSC/SCC …   Wikipedia

  • Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute — The Federal Correctional Complex, Terre Haute, is a federal prison for adult males located at the intersection of State Road 63 and Springhill Drive, two miles (3 km) southwest of Terre Haute, Indiana, United States. It falls under the… …   Wikipedia

  • California Institution for Women — Infobox Prison prison name = California Institution for Women (CIW) http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Visitors/images/aerialShots/CIW 8x10.jpgAerial View] location = Chino, California, United States coordinates = coord|33.950| 117.635 status = Operational… …   Wikipedia

  • Federal Correctional Institute, Allenwood — Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex (FCC) is a United States Federal Bureau of Prisons facility located on U.S. Route 15 in Union and Lycoming Counties in Pennsylvania. It consists of three facilities, all for male inmates:* FCI Allenwood Low… …   Wikipedia

  • California Correctional Peace Officers Association — Infobox Union| name= CCPOA country= United States affiliation= members= 31,000 full name= California Correctional Peace Officers Association native name= founded= 1957 current= head= dissolved date= dissolved state= merged into= office= people=… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Florida state prisons — The Florida Department of Corrections [http://www.dc.state.fl.us] is divided into four regions, each representing a specific geographical area of the State. [http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region1/index.html Region I] is the panhandle area …   Wikipedia

  • Florida State Prison — (FSP), also known as Starke Prison (because of its proximity to Starke, Florida), formerly known as the Union Correctional Institution ndash; East Unit, [cite web url=http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/205.html title=Florida State… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”