Florida State Prison
|Security class||Community, Minimum, Medium, Close and Maximum|
|Managed by||Florida Department of Corrections|
|Street address||23916 NW 83rd Ave.|
Florida State Prison (FSP), otherwise known as Raiford Prison, is a correctional institution located in unincorporated Bradford County, Florida. It was formerly known as the "Florida State Prison-East Unit" as it was originally part of Florida State Prison in Raiford, Florida (now known as Union Correctional Institution). The facility, a part of the Florida Department of Corrections, is located on State Road 16 right across the border from Union County. The institution opened in 1961, even though construction was not completed until 1968. With a maximum population of over 1,400 inmates, FSP is one of the largest prisons in the state. FSP houses one of the state's three death row cell blocks, and the state's execution chamber. Union Correctional Institution also houses male death row inmates while Lowell Annex houses female death row inmates.
Lethal injection became the standard method of execution in 2000. The electric chair can still be used by request of the inmate.
FSP sits in the center of several other prisons. It is surrounded by New River Correctional Institution, New River O-Unit, FSP West Unit, and sits across the river from Union Correctional Institution. Even though Union Correctional Institution is on the same property, immediately north-west of FSP, the county line (with Union County) runs in between the two, which makes Raiford the United States Postal Service address city of Union Correctional Institution, while Starke is the USPS address city of Florida State Prison.
FSP is Florida's only prison that is officially named "prison", with the other institutions being named "Correctional Institutions" (or "Correctional Facility" if it is a privately contracted prison).
- Dan White (1908–1980), American actor in film and television. Arrested in St. Augustine, Florida November 1930 and charged with robbery. White pleaded "Not guilty", but was convicted in circuit court, St. Augustine and sentenced to eight years. He served only 10 months when he received a conditional pardon.
- Mark DeFriest—Mark DeFriest, known as the Houdini of Florida, is a prisoner of the United States. In 1980, 19-year-old DeFriest retrieved work tools his recently deceased father had willed him before the will officially went through probate. This act was considered theft despite the fact DeFriest did not have an understanding of probate laws. DeFriest’s stepmother called the police, which led to his arrest. DeFriest was sentenced to four years in prison. The original four-year sentence has since developed into 34 years for 13 escape attempts—seven of them successful—and hundreds of disciplinary reports for minor infractions. In 34 years, he’s collectively spent 27 of them in solitary confinement.
- John Connolly, former FBI agent convicted for ties to Whitey Bulger.
- Phillup Partin, convicted for the murder of 16-year-old hitchhiker Joshan Ashbrook.
- Daniel Lugo, convicted of murdering a couple. His story is the basis for the 2013 blockbuster Pain & Gain.
- Mark Sievers, orchestrated the murder of his wife Teresa Sievers in Bonita Springs. His co-conspirators, Jimmy Ray Rodgers and Curtis Wayne Wright, were also charged. Wright took a plea deal of 25 years for second degree murder for testimony at the other trials. Rodgers was sentenced to life without parole and Sievers was given the death penalty.
- Oscar Ray Bolin—executed January 7, 2016 for three Tampa Bay murders.
- Gary Ray Bowles—executed August 22, 2019, convicted of 3 murders.
- Judy Buenoano executed in 1998.
- Ted Bundy—executed January 24, 1989 after confessing to over 30 killings dating from 1970s
- Oba Chandler—executed on November 15, 2011.
- Juan Carlos Chavez—executed February 12, 2014, for the murder of Jimmy Ryce.
- John Couey—died in prison before execution could be carried out
- Allen Lee Davis—executed
- David Alan Gore—executed April 12, 2012, for the murder of 6 women.
- Martin Grossman—executed
- Paul Jennings Hill—executed
- Bobby Joe Long—executed May 23, 2019, convicted of 10 murders.
- Danny Rolling—executed
- Gerard Schaefer—murdered by another prisoner in 1995
- John Spenkelink—executed
- Gerald Stano—executed 1998
- Ottis Toole—died in prison in 1996
- Frank Valdes—died in prison
- Aileen Wuornos—executed
- Giuseppe Zangara—executed March 20, 1933, convicted of murder in the assassination of Chicago mayor Anton Cermak and who may have been sent to assassinate President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida, on February 15, 1933.
In popular culture
- The Mind of Mark DeFriest is a documentary film about Florida State Prison inmate Mark DeFriest.
- Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Four Walls of Raiford" tells the story of a convict who escapes from the Florida State Prison; The convict is a veteran returning from the Vietnam War and pleads his case that he was wrongly convicted for armed robbery and asks to be buried with full honors if he gets caught.
- In Spawn: The Undead Issue #9, the story takes place in Florida State Penitentiary where a death row inmate encounters Spawn.
- It was referred to in the show Blue Bloods in Season 2 Episode 15 "The Life We Choose"
- In the 1997 Arthur Hailey novel Detective a police detective in Miami is driven in a marked cruiser for over four hours to hear the confession of a man on death row at Raiford. The book also mentions that Florida State Prison is technically not in Raiford but across the road in the town of Starke.
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- Thalji, Jamal. "Oba Chandler executed for murdering Ohio mom, two daughters". St. Petersburg Times.
- "Convicted child killer Couey dies in prison, Florida officials say". CNN. 2007-03-07. Archived from the original on 2010-11-07.
- "Grossman executed". WTSP.
- "Anti-abortion murderer executed in Florida". wsws.org.
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- "Gerard Schaeferprofile". TruTV.
- "John Arthur Spenkelink". Clark Prosecutor.
- "AMG Fugitives – Ottis Toole". America's Most Wanted. Archived from the original on 2011-01-10.
- Bazar, Emily; Leinwand, Donna (2008-12-17). "Police ID killer of 'Most Wanted' host's son". USA Today.
- Brown, Julie K. "Prison death is one of several raising questions in Florida" (Archive). Miami Herald. June 14, 2014. Retrieved on June 28, 2014.
- "Florida executes Wuornos". CNN. 2002-09-30. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10.
- "Spawn: The Undead #9". Comixology.com.