Miami News

Severe staffing shortages at FDC Miami puts Miami Dade County at risk

Inmates at FDC Miami claim that they are not receiving proper medical care due to staffing shortages and prison policy violated

In October 2020, Ulysses Cabrera was transferred to FDC Miami (Federal Detention Centre Miami). He was awaiting trial for allegedly commanding a Little Havana-based drug-trafficking gang.

According to Cabrera's lawyer, Paul Petruzzi, Cabrera has yet to receive a response from prison officials to his repeated requests to consult a neurologist for his deteriorating health. The health of the once-sturdy 32-year-old is rapidly deteriorating; he is now confined to a wheelchair, lost sight, and is suffering from facial paralysis.

Staff Shortages and Medical Negligence

Inmates at FDC Miami say the facility's workers are not receiving basic medical care because of a serious staffing crisis. Along with the mistreatment that they receive, inmates are worried about their health due to this issue.

According to Mary Melek, leader of the local FDC Miami  workers union, there is a shortage of staff across the board in every department. This mainly includes medical professionals, corrections officials, and case managers.

A row of empty hospital beds.

The Reason Behind the Staffing Issue

According to Melek, there are many reasons behind the staffing shortage, including the epidemic, a Trump-era federal hiring block, and Miami's pricey lifestyle. These factors create a dangerous and unsustainable environment for both inmates and staff.

It might take days or even weeks for convicts to get the medical attention they ask for. It's impossible to see them all because there aren't enough doctors or clinical staff to keep track of them.

How Miami Dade County is at risk

The staffing shortages are not just medical, as a matter of fact they extend to the transport personnel and corrections officers as well. The actual prison policy has even been violated in situations where corrections officers that do not have the the Basic Prison Transport Certification (BPT) have taken inmates on hospital trips. This endangers the untrained correction officer that does not have experience in dealing with high-secutity inmates in a hospital environment and Miami Dade County as a whole.

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