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The Villages
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Coleman prison employees sound alarm that understaffing could threaten community

Coleman prison employees are sounding the alarm that understaffing could threaten the neighboring community.

The Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman is the largest correctional complex in the United States, said Peyton Perry, legislative coordinator for Local 506 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman.

She appeared Monday night before the Wildwood Commission, to make officials aware of the danger lurking behind the prison’s walls, which are becoming increasingly surrounded by the growth of The Villages.

Today’s inmate population at Coleman is 6,219. The number of correctional officers is 654.

“While this number may sound sufficient, FCC Coleman is short staffed by 100 officers. This translates to 554 officers split between five institutions and five shifts, attempting to supervise 6,219 individuals convicted of committing crimes such as murder, drug trafficking, and sexual violations of our most vulnerable population, children,” Perry said.

The leadership of FCC Coleman reported staffing numbers at 91 percent.

“However, the complex suffers with daily vacant posts of approximately 175 positions equating to a staffing percentage in the 70’s,” Perry added.

Prison employees want Villagers and other area residents to know what is happening. They will hold an informational picket to speak directly with residents from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 22 at Magnolia Plaza in The Villages.

“I was born and raised in Wildwood. My family has lived in the area for many generations and continue to do so to this day. I’ve always appreciated the small town environment and have never feared for my or my family’s safety. However,  if the current staffing conditions continue to decline, Wildwood’s safety will be at risk. Without some intervention from the citizens of the surrounding areas, the Bureau of Prisons will repeat its past practice which will result in putting those citizens in danger,” Perry said.

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