Claim of chronic overcrowding at Brevard Jail lands county back in federal court

For years, the Brevard County Jail has housed hundreds of inmates over its “operational capacity,” in apparent violation of a 27-year-old court decree, according to a motion filed in federal court in Orlando last week by a prisoners’ rights group.

The Miami-based Florida Justice Institute filed the motion, seeking an order to show cause as to why the county should not be held in contempt for failure to comply with a consent decree that dates back to 1993 related to overcrowding at the jail. The institute wants a federal judge to direct the county to take action to reduce overcrowding.

The Brevard County Jail’s “operational capacity” of 1,493 inmates has regularly been surpassed in recent years, the Florida Justice Institute motion contends, citing monthly Florida Department of Corrections reports of inmate populations at county detention facilities in the state.

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