More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions, reported the Miami Herald.
The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released by the Florida Department of Corrections and showed a 20 percent increase over previous years.
The inmates who died were, on average, younger than in previous years, and only two died as a result of a state imposed execution.
"A 20 percent spike in prison deaths is of course alarming, as is the fact that it’s younger inmates that are dying, rather than people who have been in there for decades," said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union. "But I don’t want to jump to any conclusions. Many of these are under investigations. And there’s multiple causes."
Those who died in 2017 averaged 56.3 years of age. Since 2012, the average age of death in the prison system has swung between 57.1 and 58.2 years old.
The Florida prison system has long been considered one of the most dangerous by almost any metric, including inmate-on-inmate violence, use-of-force by staff and problems with delivery of health care. But there is no easy answer as to why the number of deaths spiked so drastically from one year to the next. The Department of Corrections has begun an internal investigation. The causes of death are nearly all pending further investigation.
To read more CLICK HERE