The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is the third largest state prison system in the country with a budget of $2.4 billion, approximately 98,000 inmates incarcerated and nearly 140,000 offenders on active community supervision.
FDC has 149 facilities statewide, including 49 major institutions, 17 annexes, seven private facilities (contracts for the private facilities are overseen by the Florida Department of Management Services), 33 work camps, four road prisons, two forestry camps, one boot camp, 13 FDC operated work release centers along with 20 more work release centers operated by various private vendors (FDC oversees these contracts). Over 80% of its staff of 21,948 employees are either certified correctional officers or probation officers. The average DC employee is 41 years old and has been with the agency for approximately nine years. There were no prison escapes from a major prison last fiscal year.
Prisons are generally managed by state government, but Florida does have seven privately run prisons. Florida’s jails, generally, are run by individual counties. The main difference between jails and prisons is that jail inmates may be awaiting sentencing, and prison inmates have already been convicted and sentenced. Also, jail inmates usually are sentenced to a year or less, and for a lower level crime such as a misdemeanor, whereas prison inmates usually have sentences of more than a year for more serious felony offenses.
The mission of the Florida Department of Corrections is to provide a continuum of services to meet the needs of those entrusted to our care, creating a safe and professional environment with the outcome of reduced victimization, safer communities and an emphasis on the premium of life. To that end, FDC provides dozens of academic, vocational and substance abuse programs to inmates and offenders, including in such areas as GED, adult basic education and mandatory literacy; printing and graphics, carpentry and digital design; and Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
In Fiscal Year 2015-16, 30,289 inmates were admitted into prisons and another 31,957 were released; while 83,176 offenders were placed on community supervision and another 84,919 were released from supervision. Given the fact that most of those who serve time in prison and on supervision will eventually be free, the DC is focusing on equipping its inmates and offenders with the tools they will need to become productive citizens.