Florida House Approves Lower Minimum Age For Corrections Officers

April 19, 2019

The Florida House has unanimously passed a bill that allows 18-year old corrections officers in Florida.

The minimum age for a corrections officer in Florida is currently 19. The 18-year old minimum, if it becomes law, would apply not only to the state prison system, but also to county jails in an effort to solve staffing issues.

A similar bill is moving through the Senate. The effort is backed by the Florida Department of Corrections.

The bill also would keep drones away from prisons in an effort to crack down on contraband.

Pictured: Inside a prisoner dorm at Century Correctional Institution. NorthEscambia.com photo.


33 Responses to “Florida House Approves Lower Minimum Age For Corrections Officers”

  1. Rasheed Jackson on April 22nd, 2019 1:56 pm

    David, You are too smart and too in control for the other part of the experience. I couldn’t imagine you ever ending up on the wrong side of the bars but hey I never thought I would either!! Things are what they are and sometimes people lie. No matter what I might hear I would always give you the benefit of the doubt.

  2. David Huie Green on April 21st, 2019 9:36 pm

    “…but I don’t think he will ever be a Corrections Officer.”

    No question there. I was thinking of the other side of the experience (“never worked in a detention facility or been incarcerated”); you’re never too old to go to jail and/or prison…

    David for some experiences
    left to the more worthy

  3. Rasheed Jackson on April 21st, 2019 1:07 pm

    I have worked in a prison system, all be it a very short time, but what I did observe was the the younger inmates were at the mercy of the older inmates. the older inmates were manipulative and controlling. It was a constant mind game being played out every day. It will be no different with an 18 year old Corrections Officer. Placing an 18 year old in this environment is a problem waiting to happen. An 18 year old’s brain hasn’t fully developed and is no match for the minds of the career criminal. Oh, and I agree with David, You don’t need to have worked in this profession to make have a valid opinion but I don’t think he will ever be a Corrections Officer. Of course that is just my opinion, and it is based on logical, sound, and reasonable facts. You are like me you are too old, too slow, and we tire easily. Sorry friend but it is what it is!!

  4. Crazy on April 21st, 2019 2:26 am

    David green has an above average intelligence capacity but obviously has no clue as to the enternal workings of a prison and yes I do work at one. Being intelligent dosen’t give you any experience in the field sorry. If you don’t know keep your mouth shut you are wasting time and opinions.

  5. Reality Check on April 21st, 2019 12:48 am

    Wait, we’re ok with 18 year olds having assault styled rifles, but not working for corrections?

    Also, if you don’t like your rate of pay, no one is forcing you to work for FL corrections. Pull yourself up by the boot straps and find a higher paying wage.

    Reality Check, for consistent views, and less whining.

  6. David Huie Green on April 20th, 2019 2:52 pm

    (Oh, but the idea that only inmates and correctional officers should be allowed to comment, is even funnier.

    David for the people —
    even those not stuck in prisons and jails)

  7. David Huie Green on April 20th, 2019 2:41 pm

    “David has OBVIOUSLY never worked in a detention facility or been incarcerated”

    This is true, but give me time. Who knows what the future holds?

    “so why even comment.”

    Because the proposed solution strikes me as being at least as unlikely to succeed and amuses me.

    David for better people

  8. Gman on April 20th, 2019 4:53 am

    Best solution to staff shortage is better pay and a command staff that is supportive of its officers.

  9. X co on April 20th, 2019 12:37 am

    I have seen a lot in my time as a corricanel officer and as a sergeant. At that age the inmates will eat them alive. I know because I have seen it with kids that come in there at 25. In my opinion a bad idea.

  10. BooYa! on April 19th, 2019 11:25 pm

    I believe that the thought process behind this is that if 18 year old can serve and thrive in the military they can do this just as well. As someone who served in the military at 18 I can tell you there is a huge difference in the leadership and of the discipline of the military versus DOC. They are not the same and will not function the same. From day one in the military there is a Drill Sergeant that is instilling military discipline in you in a process that is designed to instill military discipline and training that just is not the same as the DOC processes.

  11. Correction nurse on April 19th, 2019 9:17 pm

    Working corrections as a nurse, but I see so many young adults, 19 to 25, who come to jail for childish attitude issues. And they think a 19 yrs old will be able to control a “friend” that gets incarcerated? I dont think so. At 19 most still have momma make dental appointments. Just saying. This is NOT a good thing.

  12. UR Not funny on April 19th, 2019 7:42 pm

    David has OBVIOUSLY never worked in a detention facility or been incarcerated so why even comment.

  13. Oversight on April 19th, 2019 3:44 pm

    A lot of nay sayers for 18 year old’s; however, 17 years old’s enlist in the military, given a rifles, and can be sent into combat as soon as they turn 18. Treat each individual as he or she is, an individual. If they make the cut, hire them.

  14. Diane Jeffcoat on April 19th, 2019 1:48 pm

    I’m retired from having worked in the jail corrections system. Unless things have changed recently, the LIABILITY INSURANCE will not cover a deputy or corrections officer until he/she turns 21. So even if you graduate at the top of your class, as long as you are under 21 years of age, the departments won’t hire you UNLESS you agree to take an entry level position as a dispatcher, booking clerk, etc then they’ll transfer you to the position of Law Enforcement or Corrections Officer the day after you turn 21. While I can attest to the fact that the local jail I worked at, which was rather large, had a ‘no carry’ policy, as that prevents inmates from creating a disturbance and gaining access to your gun. The weapons were kept under lock and key and behind a locked door, but all officers had to be trained and accredited for using the weapon if necessary. My point here is that I’m confused unless this is floral legislation designed to gain votes later, because it’s useless to lower the age for hiring if they are not allowed to use guns until they are 21, as set by the company’s liability insurance clause. Just a thought.

  15. David Huie Green on April 19th, 2019 1:04 pm

    Consider letting the inmates guard themselves on a rotating basis.

    (“Hey, you beat me last time you were the guard, so now it’s MY turn!”
    “Careful. Remember WE’RE up next week.”)

    Just like this proposal, what could go wrong?
    …and who in his right mind wants to find out?

    David for time sharing while doing time

  16. Melissa on April 19th, 2019 12:33 pm

    90 % of 18 year olds can’t even make smart decisions on their own. What makes the state think they are going to run inmates with a life sentence. Big mistake State of Florida. I see a lot of 18 year olds fixing to get turned in the wrong direction trying to make easy money through the inmates. The state is putting a lot of seasoned officers in harms way.

  17. L. B. on April 19th, 2019 12:23 pm

    The Age should be 21 for all Positions in Corrections. At this age the individual should or will be able to make a responsible decision about their future and career in this
    field of work.

  18. Alan on April 19th, 2019 11:12 am

    I do not see this ending well. While the FDOC could employ these younger correctional officers to perform duties not immersed in the day to day interaction with inmates while they train and mature for 2-3 years, most likely what will happen is they will receive minimal training and become the new front line as those with more seniority step back. I will be so bold as to predict an increase in prison contraband as they are manipulated by the prison population.

  19. Stumpknocker on April 19th, 2019 10:37 am

    @BooYa your absolutely correct, the next lowering of the bar is to let prisoners guard themselves.

  20. Todd on April 19th, 2019 9:56 am

    Temporary fix , that will not be enough to hind the fact that the guards are not paid well.

  21. Sage2 on April 19th, 2019 9:27 am

    The maturity level of an 18-year old seems to be that of the legislators that passed this legislation in the house. The brain of an 18-year old is not yet fully developed. So very sad. An 18-year old dealing with the criminal mind of a forty-year old…? This shall be newsworthy every day!

  22. 429SCJ on April 19th, 2019 9:12 am

    If they can knock an inmate down with a blackjack, they meet the basic qualification.

    By my standards anyway.

  23. fisherman on April 19th, 2019 8:42 am

    This is a disaster in the making. I agree with Boo Ya! they are not addressing the real problem.The prison population is running the system and everyone knows that.

  24. molino jim on April 19th, 2019 8:35 am

    What could go wrong with this plan.

  25. Preston Hardy on April 19th, 2019 8:29 am

    This looks like a desperate attempt to give the appearance of addressing the staffing shortages without doing anything to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel. It is political “smoke and mirrors.” But appearance is everything in Florida politics.

  26. RON MCANDREW on April 19th, 2019 7:11 am

    Instead of giving existing well trained, well experienced officers a decent pay raise for the incredible and dangerous job they do for all of us each day, our legislature is reaching into Kindergarten for recruits. Shame on you cheap skates.

  27. Molino Girl on April 19th, 2019 7:00 am

    Drone part, good idea. The 18 yr old part, bad, bad idea, You need some life experience, self control that many don’t have in their teenage years and a lot of training to deal with this type of population day in and day out. How about fixing the issues that are causing an issue in the first place? Safety issues, low pay etc.

  28. Mark on April 19th, 2019 6:46 am

    That is correct BooYa. They can get paid more for working in the lawn care field.

  29. Russ on April 19th, 2019 6:29 am

    I need glasses….read that twice and thought it said “lower minimum wage “

  30. chris on April 19th, 2019 6:14 am

    How about more pay?

  31. Cantonment Mom on April 19th, 2019 5:41 am

    If they are old enough to join the military, there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to become a corrections officer.

  32. Just saying on April 19th, 2019 5:24 am

    This looks like a resipe for trouble. Hopefully there will be a lots of training involved.

  33. BooYa! on April 19th, 2019 1:44 am

    Instead of addressing the real issues let’s just lower the standards.

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