Florida cancels all prison visits due to 'security threat'

By Ray Downs  |  Aug. 17, 2017 at 1:55 AM
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Aug. 17 (UPI) -- The Florida Department of Corrections announced Wednesday it has canceled visitations at all 149 of its facilities this weekend over concerns of a "security threat."

"In response to credible intelligence indicating that small groups of inmates at several institutions may attempt to disrupt FDC operations and impact safety and security, FDC has, in an abundance of caution and in the best interest of staff, inmate and public safety, canceled all visitation statewide," the FDC said in a statement.

The cancellation will be in effect on Aug. 19 and 20.

The Miami Herald pointed out that this weekend is the "Millions for Prisoners' Human Rights" march in Washington, D.C. But prison officials did not confirm if the planned march has anything to do with its decision to cancel visitations across the state during that time.

"There's no reason to be alarmed. We are just being proactive,'' said FDC spokesperson Michelle Glady.

The Millions for Prisoners Twitter account responded to the visitation cancellation and warned of other closings.

"Prisons around the nation will probably be shutting down, and punish any prisoner that mention human rights," the group wrote.

Prisoner rights activists around the country have been promoting the event and urging people to attend rallies in D.C. and other cities holding solidarity marches.

Robert H. King and Albert Woodfox, two members of the Angola 3, a trio of prisoners who spent decades in solitary confinement in Louisiana's Angola prison, released a joint statement in support of the march.

"We know the economic situation for African Americans, other minority communities, and poor whites is very difficult. However, if there is any way possible for you to get to the Millions for Prisoners Human Rights March in Washington DC on August 19, so that your voice can be heard, so that we can speak in one voice, please join us. Enough is Enough!" the statement read.

The march is sponsored by the IAmWe Prison Advocacy Network. Some of the goals of the event include stopping private companies from "exploiting prison labor," stop "overcharging for goods and services," end private prison contracting and eliminating the racial disparity among prisoners, among others.

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