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Glades Correctional Institution

First opening in 1932 as Florida Prison Farm #2, the named changed in 1951 to Glades State Prison Farm and then to Glades Correctional Institution in 1962.

On January 2, 1995, Florida had its largest prison break in 15 years. Six inmates escaped from Glades Correctional Institution via a tunnel they dug beneath the chapel which was under construction at the time. The tunnel was 8 feet deep, two feet wide and 25 yards long. A correctional officer noticed some of the inmates as they were making their getaway and fired two gunshots. None of the inmates were believed hit by gunfire. One inmate, Felix Carbonell, was apprehended almost immediately outside the prison fence. The remaining escapees were Hector Rivas, 32; Juan Fleitas, 30; Jesus Martinez, 47; Florencio Alvarez, 39; and Armando Junco, 62. All were serving life sentences with 25-year-mandatories.

A tip from two citizens to a Florida Highway Patrol station led to the recapture of Alvarez and the death of Junco, who was shot by a Miami police officer during the recapture that included the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the FBI, Miami PD, and Metro-Dade police. Rivas was caught next, 10 days after the escape, by a patrol officer who spotted him walking in Little Havana. Martinez was caught the next day, also in Little Havana, when he made the mistake of walking in front of a patrol car and was recognized. Fleitas remained on the loose until August 3, 1997, when he was shot by Mexican police during a botched robbery. When the photo made the local newspaper, a tipster recognized him from America’s Most Wanted and called the FBI.

As a result of these escapes, the Florida Department of Corrections received additional security equipment which included improving or purchasing electronic detection systems for all major institutions, fencing and razor wire, radios and perimeter vehicles. In addition to the equipment upgrades, over 860 personnel were hired including 180 which focused on the areas of inmate movement, emergency response, searches and confinement escort.

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