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Identifying, Documenting and Managing Florida's High-Profile Inmates

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 63 Issue: 6 Dated: October 2001 Pages: 126-128
Linda Postorino
Susan L. Clayton
Date Published
3 pages
This article examined the Florida Department of Corrections approach to dealing with high-profile inmates.
Despite correctional agencies’ best efforts, high-profile inmates can bring negative publicity and a distorted image of agencies when cases “go bad,” such as when an inmate kills or injures someone and the media quickly publicizes it. Media understandably focus on the sensational aspects of inmates’ criminal histories. Correctional agencies have a real interest in attempting to minimize potential incidents involving high-profile inmates. There are three possible scenarios regarding high-profile inmates, including when inmates arrive at the correctional facility, depending on the notoriety they receive prior to incarceration; become a “hot topic” due to their prison behavior such as escaping, or assaulting or killing a staff member or inmate; and are released from prison, for example, when the media still pursue inmates’ situations or when inmates create interest by their post-release behavior. The Florida Department of Corrections has taken a systematic approach to identifying, documenting and managing such inmates. Each of these elements relating to high-profile inmates is discussed in the article. The article concludes by stating that correctional agencies cannot safeguard themselves against destructive actions by convicted felons, nor can agencies control the whims of the media, but they can develop systems to identify, document, and manage inmates who appear to have a greater likelihood to disrupting the correctional system.