Broward County prison

Because Broward County is so large (not only area wise - encompassing almost 15,000 mi.² - but also population wise, with more than 1.7 million people calling in home) that they are considered to be the second most populated county in all of the state of Florida and the 18th most populated county in the US.

And while the overwhelming majority of people living (or visiting) county are never likely going to have to spend even a single moment inside of the county jail facilities, because it is such a large area to cover - and because the population is so enormous - there's bound to be a couple of "rotten apples" in the basket.

Responsible for the detention of criminals, those deemed to be unfit to stand trial, and a host of other fugitives awaiting extradition to a number of other jurisdictions (national as well as international), the county prison facilities - of which there are numerous prisons and rehabilitation centers dotted throughout the county - act as the major prison system in this part of South Florida.

Run by the county Sheriff's Office (currently led by Sheriff Scott Israel), each and every one of these penal facilities are operated by the state - and are state-funded. Considered to be the 12th largest local calaboose system in the US (and one of the largest prison systems to ever earn national accreditation for its facilities), a considerable amount of inmates are held in these facilities each and every year.

A bit of history regarding the Broward County jail system

Ever since county was established (all the way back in 1915) there have been jails, holding cells, and makeshift detention facilities established to help law enforcement officials - sheriffs - keep the peace a bit more efficiently, but it wasn't until more modern times that the current prison facilities used by the county calaboose network were established and put to good use.

As mentioned above, there are a number of facilities that make up the entirety of the county jail system and network, with five major facilities doing the overwhelming majority of the "heavy lifting".

There's the Main prison (located in Fort Lauderdale at 555 SE. 1st Ave.), the Joseph V. Conte Facility (located in Pompano Beach, at 1351 NW. 27th Ave.), the North Broward Bureau (located at 1550 NW. 30th Ave. in Pompano Beach), the Central Intake Bureau (also located at 555 SE. 1st Ave. in Fort Lauderdale) and the Paul Rein Detention Facility (4421 NW. 16th St. in Pompano Beach).

The Main Jail

The major detention center for all of county, and is located adjacent to the county Courthouse right in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Established in 1985 (costing the county a little bit more than $40 million at first), it is an eight story maximum-security prison designed to hold 864 inmates - but was expanded in 1988 and in 1992 to be able to accommodate almost 1600 inmates (doubling of the population).

There are about 400 or so members of the county Sheriff Department or the county prison system that work in the Main calaboose, many of them in the administrative areas of this facility but a considerable amount also working in the Central Intake Bureau (a facility that will detail in just a moment).

This entire facility is home to mail inmates only on a "permanent basis", though there can be female inmates that are awaiting trial or sentencing as well as those that are going to be serving less than a single year for their sentence.

Almost all of the inmates of this facility are considered to be escape risks, have committed (and been sentenced for) violent and dangerous crimes, or have otherwise been classified as necessitating maximum-security detention.

There is also a small juvenile detention facility located in the Main calaboose, though it only accommodates about 65 juveniles and they are kept apart entirely from the adult inmates.

The Joseph V. Conte Facility

A much newer facility, established in 1999 and considered to be a medium security facility mostly responsible for holding inmates that are awaiting trial or sentencing.

A direct supervision facility (which requires full-time 24/7 guard to be on duty actually inside the housing units, interacting on a regular basis with the inmates), this is an all-male facility - though there is an accommodation for women established just outside of the facility and adjacent to the building.

Not only is this facility set up for attention, it's also home to a number of medical facilities, counseling facilities, and a wide variety of treatment programs that can be taken advantage of by the inmates in the county calaboose network.

Also home to 30 day substance abuse programs for those that aren't inmates of the facility, this particular part of the county prison network is considered to be a big puzzle piece in the community outreach programs.

North Broward Bureau

The North Broward Bureau is a minimum-security facility that houses both male and female inmates, and can currently accommodate 1200 inmates at any one specific time.

This facility is also the major part of the county prison network that works closely with the mentally ill, those that require serious medical attention, and those that have special needs that need to be met while they are detained.

Opened in 1979, it's one of the older parts of the county calaboose network, but also one of the most important.

Central Intake Bureau

Located in the same building as the Main calaboose in Fort Lauderdale, the Central Intake Bureau is responsible for processing about 70,000 arrests each and every year all throughout county - arrests that can be processed through the main facilities here or at three "remote sites" dotted throughout the county.

This department is also responsible for transferring in picking up inmates, the transfer between facilities, and any and all custody transfers or releases that happen in or out of state.

Paul Rein Detention Facility

The newest of all the county jail facility buildings, this particular building and facility was first opened in 2004, costing the people of county about $36 million or so and acting as a direct supervision calaboose.

As much a maximum-security prison as there is in the state, this four-story building is designed specifically to accommodate just over 1000 inmates in four-story "pods", with more than 200 Sheriff Deputy officers on duty 24/7, responsible for making sure that all inmates are "locked down" with minimal movement.