MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – The Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department announced Friday that Correctional Officer Juan Llanes died Monday after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was 57 years old.
According to a news release from the department, Llanes was hired in February of 1988. He worked at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center until 1992 and was later transferred to the Metro-West Detention Center, where he worked until 2010.
Llanes last worked at the Hospital Services Unit.
“I met Officer Llanes in September 2011 when I transferred to Ward-D. When we first met I said to him, ‘You really speak your mind,’ and he said, ‘Yes I do.’ I said to Juan, ‘Me too’ and we hit it off ever since,” Correctional Officer Lynette Smith said in a statement. “Anyone that knew him, knows he was a hard worker. His family came first, then his friends. We really became good friends while working together. We started hanging out together away from work. He really enjoyed socializing with family and friends. He definitely always looked forward to my parties or gatherings. We helped one another during difficult times. He said to me during our last conversation, ‘I loved you all and I’VE REALLY ENJOYED MY 33 YEARS WITH CORRECTIONS.’ I’m going to miss my friend. After working with Juan for the last couple of years, I gained a brother. RIP Guard. I LOVE YOU.”
Llanes is survived by his wife, Norma; his son, Justin, his mother, Milagros; his sister, Carmen; and other relatives.
Co-workers tell Local 10 News that he could have retired but kept working for his family.
“Everything he did was for his family,” said retired officer George Hubbard, who worked with him for about 11 years at Miami-Dade corrections. “He was always there for anybody who needed help, and I’ll always remember him for that.”
His funeral mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday at St. Raymond of Peñafort Catholic Church in Miami. He will be buried at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Doral.
MDCR spokesman Juan Diasgranados confirmed Friday that 84 employees currently have COVID-19 and are at home in isolation. He said 20 inmates are also in isolation after testing positive for the virus.
Below is a list of precautions the department has taken during the coronavirus pandemic:
• Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Interim Guidance on the Management of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Correctional and Detention Facilities, published on March 23rd
• Cancelled inmate visitation and all other non-essential public access on March 12, 2020
• Providing free telephone calls and video visitation to facilitate communication with loved ones
• Conducting daily screening of anyone, including MDCR employees, medical staff, police officers, entering our facilities
• Began screening all inmates at intake for possible COVID-19 on March 12, 2020
• Began testing new arrestees remaining in custody three days following their arrest and prior to placement in general population for the coronavirus on July 6, 2020
• Conducting enhanced and rigorous cleaning and sanitizing of high touch areas within our facilities including fogging all housing units
• Maintaining an inventory of necessary equipment and supplies such as hand soap, sanitizer, disinfecting products
• Increased the use of videoconferencing throughout all of our facilities for court proceedings, attorney visits and court-ordered physician interviews to limit the amount of inmate and unnecessary staff movement between our facilities.
• Issued personal protective masks to all staff and inmates to be kept on their person and mandated the wearing of masks since April 3, 2020
• Provide onsite COVID-19 testing for MDCR staff