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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Federal Probe Requested After 21 Inmates Died in Florida Jail

Since 2019, 21 inmates have died in Florida's Broward County Jail. According to The Hill, The NAACP is seeking a federal investigation of deaths in Florida's second-largest jail system, saying the Broward Sheriff's Office does not adequately monitor inmates or provide them with proper medical treatment and mental health services. 

TH also reported that the national NAACP filed a letter this week with the U.S. Justice Department seeking an investigation. It comes about six weeks after a 29-year-old inmate, Janard Geffrard, was allegedly choked and beaten to death by his cellmate, Kevin Barnes. One death highlighted in the letter is that of Kevin Desir, a 43-year-old with bipolar disorder, who died of strangulation during a 2021 struggle with guards, according to an independent autopsy report. The letter also lists deaths by suicides and drug overdoses. It also mentions the 2019 case of a woman who gave birth alone in her cell and an inmate who cut off his penis with a razor in 2018.

Janard Geffrard

According to ABC News, Janard was beaten to death because he was gay-the beating reportedly lasted 20 minutes. His cellmate, Kevin later admitted to the murder. Geffrard's family's attorney, Josiah Graham, said, "No one deserves to be brutally assaulted for 20 consecutive minutes without anyone intervening." "The family wants people to know that he was loving. He's the type of person that would give his shirt off his back. He would give you his last dollar." He was hospitalized for two weeks before passing away. The victim's family is frustrated that jailhouse officers didn't intervene or recognize that something had happened to the 29-year-old until several minutes after the assault. Geffrard died several days after after being placed on life support. 

Kevin Barnes. Photo/Broward County Jail

Geffrard's family is calling for jail reforms that address issues of mental health and surveillance in jails to ensure that a deadly incident like this does not happen again. The family says they intend to bring forward a wrongful death claim, according to ABC.

This story is still developing and will be updated. To follow Volume 82, click the link to subscribe. 



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