Florida prison officials vow to overhaul system

MIAMI (AP) -- State corrections officials are promising to make prisons safer by improving transparency and beefing up investigations following criticism for the agency's handling of inmate deaths.

Department of Corrections Secretary Mike Crews said Wednesday that news stories report the agency has "fallen short in specific instances with regard to facility leadership, safety, security, training and services for mentally ill inmates." He says they are "fixing the problems that have been identified."

Crews will give the Florida Department of Law Enforcement authority to investigate deaths at prison facilities that are the result of any non-natural causes. That includes 82 active cases.

He says the agency will create a website in the next 30 days to publicly release information on in-custody deaths.

The agency has more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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