Independent Review Commission on Jails meets

08/01/08 Jamie Kidder
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Today in Tampa, the Independent Review Commission on Jails held its 10th meeting at the County Center. The commission was established earlier this year to investigate allegations of abuse in the Hillsborough County jail system after the release of a video showing a quadriplegic man being dumped from a wheelchair at the Orient Road Jail.

Mike Pheneger is chairman of the Greater Tampa chapter of the ACLU. He stood before the panel today and discussed his concerns with the sudden escalation of violence by the guards. Pheneger also mentioned that there are several less-publicized tapes showing even more abuses in Hillsborough jails.

Pheneger talked about an incident caught on tape where it appears that guards attempt to obscure the camera view before attacking an inmate.

Judge Steve Leifman is the special advisor to the Florida Supreme Court on Criminal Justice and Mental Health. He spoke to the panel about how mentally ill inmates are recycled through the criminal justice system.

Brian Winfield is the communications director for Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy organization. He talked about some of the issues that face gay or transgender inmates.

For more information, visit HSCO or ACLU

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