Columbia Correctional Institution (Florida)

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Columbia Correctional Institution
Location216 S.E. Corrections Way
Lake City, Florida
Statusopen
Security classmixed
Capacity1427, another 1566 in Annex, 2993 total
Opened1992
Managed byFlorida Department of Corrections

The Columbia Correctional Institution is a state prison for men located in Lake City, Columbia County, Florida. The facility first opened in 1992, has a mix of security levels including community, minimum, medium, and close, and has a capacity of 1427 inmates.[1]

The Columbia Annex opened in October 2004 and holds another 1,566 inmates at the same security levels.[2] Both prisons are near the Lake City Correctional Facility, a privately run prison that also holds state inmates.

History[edit]

In March 2012 a Columbia correctional officer named Sgt. Ruben Thomas was stabbed to death by an inmate.[3] In April 2016 a correctional officer received stab wounds from a prisoner, and the next morning a schizophrenic inmate being held in protective custody was found dead.[4]

In 2016 Florida state representative David Richardson came to tour the prison, visiting initially on November 23 of that year. Inmates personally made numerous complaints to him about poor facilities, and Richardson described the facilities as "unfit for human habitation".[5]

Notable inmates[edit]

  • Jonathan Silva – Found guilty of first-degree murder for the murder of his friend Jerry Lee Alley. The story was profiled on A&E's Killer Kids.
  • Michael Hernandez – Convicted of first-degree murder of a classmate at his school and attempted first-degree murder for another classmate. He died at the institution in April 2021, at the age of 31.[6]
  • Willie James Hodges - Convicted of first-degree murder of Patricia Belanger during a burglary. Formerly on death row and resentenced to life in 2022.[7]
  • Randy Schoenwetter – Convicted of the murders of Ronald and Virginia Friskey. Formerly on death row at Union Correctional Institution and resentenced to life in 2021.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Columbia Correctional Institution". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Columbia Correctional Institution Annex". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  3. ^ Smith, Chad (19 March 2012). "Columbia Correctional officer stabbed to death". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Death of mentally ill inmate at Florida prison under investigation". Bradenton Herald. 5 April 2016. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  5. ^ "'Horrific' conditions at Florida prison languish until legislator shows up and asks why". Miami Herald. 2016-12-06. Retrieved 2016-12-10.
  6. ^ "Inmate Release Information Detail". www.dc.state.fl.us. Retrieved 2020-08-26.
  7. ^ "Inmate Population Information Detail - Willie J. Hodges". Florida Department of Corrections.
  8. ^ "Inmate Population Information Detail - Randy Schoenwetter". Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved 2021-08-16.

Coordinates: 30°11′36″N 82°30′09″W / 30.193253°N 82.502416°W / 30.193253; -82.502416