Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
New cells put in as crowding lessens
By a projection done in 2004-05, the jail needed extra room. Now it's under capacity.
By SARAH MISHKIN
Published June 27, 2007
TAMPA - An unexpected drop in inmate population at Falkenburg Road Jail means new cells now being added to the facility might not be needed as desperately as jail officials once thought.
A solitary confinement unit of 256, as well as 512 new general population units, should be complete by January 2009. The new construction is part of a larger $69-million expansion project.
But a speedier criminal justice system means the new units might be used to shift inmates out of beat-up, decade-old cells that can then be rehabilitated, says Jim Gross, project manager for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Gross said a population projection done in 2004-05, when the prison was overcrowded by about 800 prisoners, indicated that the jail needed the additional capacity. Now, he says, Falkenburg Road Jail is operating under its rated capacity.
"We have these housing units that are under construction, and if things don't change dramatically upward, we won't need them as new capacity, " Gross said.
Part of the drop, said Lt. Chris Allen, is credited to a new Hillsborough court that handles probation violation cases led by Circuit Judge Daniel Perry. Previously, those who violated probation needed to see the original sentencing judge and would wait an average of 39 days in jail for the hearing. The court, started in February 2006, cut the average stay in jail to just 15 days.
"He's been our savior, " Allen said of Perry. "Now we're able to get those inmates through the system more efficiently."
Meanwhile, construction proceeds on the 256 lockdown units, used for inmates who violate jail rules, who are under psychiatric observation, or those high-profile inmates who need protective custody.
The individual cells are 7 feet wide, 12 feet deep and 10 feet high. The cells are everything for the inmates confined in them - bedroom, bathroom, living room, closet.
A bed platform is poured of the same concrete as the walls. A small steel tray, slightly larger than an airplane's seatback tray, serves as a desk. The sink and toilet are one stainless steel unit, with a small steel mirror above. A small towel hook, on the side of the sink, is only a foot off the floor and made to collapse if too much pressure is placed on it - also, Allen said, to prevent inmates from hurting themselves.
The cells are manufactured by Oldcastle Precast of Jacksonville and trucked to the site on the back of oversized trailers. Building and installing the prefab units has taken four months, Gross said, compared with the year that would have been needed to build them with traditional techniques.
On Tuesday, cranes lifted the prefab modules off the trailers and swung them into place like giant building blocks.
Each module contains a pair of cells and is 70, 000 pounds. Any heavier, said Allen, and the crane would not be able to lift them.
Paul Gallina, Oldcastle's site superintendent, praised the quality of the cells, which can withstand 130-mph wind.
But, he said, part of his job frustrated him.
"All I know is I'd rather be building schools to educate people and eliminate crime, " he said.