NAACP Calls for Federal Investigation into Deaths at Broward County Jail System

The NAACP has recently demanded a federal investigation into the alarming number of deaths occurring within the Broward County jail system in Florida. The civil rights group accuses the Broward Sheriff’s Office of failing to adequately monitor inmates and provide them with proper medical treatment and mental health services. The call for an investigation comes after the deaths of 21 inmates in the jail’s custody since 2019.

Marsha Ellison, the president of the NAACP’s Broward County chapter, stood alongside the grieving relatives of the deceased inmates during a press conference held at the Broward County Public Defender’s Office. Ellison criticized Sheriff Gregory Tony and his staff for their lack of transparency regarding the circumstances surrounding these fatalities. She also highlighted the shortcomings of the company contracted by the sheriff’s office to provide medical and mental health services to inmates, claiming that they often fail to deliver adequate care.

In a letter filed with the U.S. Justice Department, the national NAACP requested a thorough investigation into the matter. The letter cited several disturbing cases, including the alleged choking and beating death of 29-year-old inmate Janard Geffrard by his cellmate. Another case mentioned was that of Kevin Desir, a 43-year-old inmate with bipolar disorder, who died from strangulation during a struggle with guards in 2021, according to an independent autopsy report. The letter also highlighted deaths resulting from suicides and drug overdoses, as well as incidents such as a woman giving birth alone in her cell in 2019 and an inmate who self-mutilated in 2018.

Ellison expressed her lack of faith in the internal investigations conducted by the sheriff’s office, stating, “We don’t want to hear we’ve investigated ourselves and found that we’ve done no wrong. We want to find out what’s really happening.” Public Defender Gordon Weekes echoed her sentiments, emphasizing the additional pain experienced by the families due to the lack of information surrounding their loved ones’ deaths. Weekes called for transparency and urged the community and society as a whole to strive for improvement.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office responded to the allegations, asserting that its jail system meets national accreditation standards and consistently maintains high levels of excellence, despite significant vacancy rates among guards. The statement also mentioned that Broward jails house an average of 3,600 inmates per day, with approximately 44,000 individuals spending at least one night in jail annually. The system accommodates inmates serving sentences of less than a year, as well as defendants awaiting trial or currently on trial. Those sentenced to more than a year are transferred to state prisons.

The U.S. Justice Department confirmed receipt of the NAACP’s request but did not disclose whether an investigation would be initiated. Currently, about a dozen state prison and local jail systems across the country are under federal investigation, as reported by The Associated Press.

The heartbroken father of Janard Geffrard, Jeff Geffrard, expressed his disappointment with the sheriff’s office, stating that they have not provided any information about the attack that led to his son’s death. According to court documents, Janard Geffrard was beaten and choked by his cellmate for over two minutes, with guards only noticing the incident more than 20 minutes after it had ended. Janard Geffrard was taken to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries two weeks later. He had been awaiting trial for robbery and burglary charges. Two guards have been suspended with pay pending the completion of an investigation, and the State Attorney’s Office confirmed that the law enforcement investigation is ongoing.

Robert Moberg, the father of Corbin Moberg, another inmate who died in the Broward jail system, expressed his disbelief over his son’s suspected drug overdose death on January 1. Corbin had been in custody for over two years, awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges. Robert Moberg lamented the loss of his son’s future and questioned how such a tragedy could occur while his son was supposed to be safe in custody.

As the NAACP’s call for a federal investigation gains momentum, the Broward County jail system faces scrutiny over its handling of inmate welfare and the alarming number of deaths that have occurred within its walls. The demand for transparency and accountability resonates with the families of the deceased inmates, who seek answers and justice for their loved ones.

 

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

2 Responses

  1. As an advocate for social justice and prison reform, my personal goal is to raise awareness about the issues surrounding the Broward County jail system and support the NAACP’s demand for a federal investigation. I plan to actively engage in discussions and share information on social media platforms to educate others about the alarming number of deaths occurring within the jail system. Additionally, I aim to collaborate with local organizations and activists to organize peaceful protests and rallies, demanding accountability and transparency from the authorities. By amplifying the voices of

  2. Did you know that according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the mortality rate in local jails across the United States has been steadily increasing? In 2018, there were 4,980 deaths reported in local jails, which is the highest number recorded since data collection began in 2000. This highlights the importance of addressing the issue of deaths in jail systems and the need for thorough investigations to ensure the safety and well-being of inmates.

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