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Florida prison failed to protect women inmates from staff, report shows

Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala. (Image: Florida DOC)
Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala. (Image: Florida DOC) (WKMG 2020)

OCALA, Fla. – Federal investigators say a Florida women’s prison has likely violated inmates’ constitutional rights by failing to protect them from sexual abuse by staff.

According to a report released Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida concluded that there is reasonable cause to believe that the conditions at Lowell Correctional Institution in north Florida violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

The Eighth Amendment prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment.

The Justice Department provided the prison with written notice and suggested minimum remedial measures that include installing additional video surveillance and adopting new policies to protect inmates.