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Nine Deaths in Three Years at CoreCivic Jail in Florida, None From COVID-19

The Citrus County Detention Facility(CCDF) in Lecanto, Florida, serves a modest-sized county with a population of 149,383, slightly over the average in all 2,843 jail jurisdictions in the U.S. The mortality rate in all U.S. jails in 2018—the last year for which federal Bureau of Justice statistics were published—averaged 154 deaths per 100,000 people detained. But at CCDF, the rate is two-and-a-half times higher: an eye-popping 426 per 100,000.

That’s thanks to nine deaths recorded in just three years at the jail, which is run for the county by Tennessee-based private prison operator CoreCivic.

In 2021 alone, CCDF recorded six deaths, including two previously reported by PLN: the suicide of Lisa Ann Trombley, 48, on October 17, 2021, and the death the following November 2 of Valerie Bogle, 63. After those fatalities, the county began to fine CoreCivic $2,500 for each day the jail remained understaffed, leading the firm to replace several jail officials, including Warden Mike Quinn. [See: PLN, Apr. 2022, p.34.]

Two prisoners died at CCDF in 2020, including Wayne Charles Washer, 53. He was serving a sentence for the state Department of Corrections (DOC) and transferred to CCDF for a court appearance when he sustained fatal injuries in a fight with detainee Demare Barnes on December 5, 2020.

CCDF reported that the other death in 2020 was from natural causes. In 2019 the lone reported prisoner death was from natural causes as well. No other details were immediately available on these deaths or the others in 2021.

With 760 beds, CCDF is far larger than most U.S. jails, which hold on average about one of every 500 Americans on any given day. But CCDF is also a profit center for CoreCivic, which keeps about 703 of its beds filled with not only the county’s detainees but also those held under contract for the U.S. Marshals Service. Otherwise it’s hard to imagine how the county planned to fill its jail without locking up one of every 200 residents.  

Sources: Citrus County Chronicle, WFLA

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