Florida prisons are becoming deadlier. More than 3,900 inmates in 68 prisons have died, some by unusual circumstances, since 2000. For the last year, the Miami Herald has investigated suspicious deaths reported to the Florida Department of Corrections, including a Dade Correctional Institution inmate who was found dead in a small, enclosed shower at the prison in June 2012. State data released last fall showed inmate deaths have increased by 40 percent in the last 15 years. And that number continues to rise. Read the Herald's ongoing series, "Cruel and Unusual," for more coverage on prison abuse.
In 2014, 346 prisoners died behind bars, making that year the worst on record. In 2012, the most recent year when comparable figures were available, Florida had a higher prison death rate (325 per 100,000 inmates) than any of the other 10 largest states, according to the Bureau of Prisons.