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April 28, 1998
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November 2010: New Look for the Homepage!
A redesign of the homepage was completed in November 2010, including a new rotating "Announcements" section.
April 2009: Will you Adopt Me?
The Department has partnered with local animal shelters, to take dogs into programs at several of our institutions, where inmates train them in basic obedience, and upon graduation from the eight week course, the dogs are featured on our homepage “Will you Adopt Me?” feature on our website. Each dog’s picture is included, along with their characteristics and a note about their behavior from their inmate trainers. When they get adopted we indicate that as well, with a doghouse and the word “adopted!” next to the dog’s picture.
Regina Blackstock, after serving as Webmaster for 11 years, accepted a promotion within the department, and passed the torch to Brett Ross, who becomes our third webmaster. Brett has been employed with the Department for 17 years. She's been involved with the department's website since 1997, and employed as a web developer supporting the department's websites for the past four and a half years.
October 2008: RSS Newsfeeds
On 10/2/08 the Department launched it's first RSS (Really Simple Syndication) newsfeed featuring information on newly added or updated content. For the first time, site visitors can subscribe to receive announcements about press releases, Florida Administrative Code Chapter 33 notices and updates, bid announcements, contract updates, new publications, and other changes to the website. A special thanks goes to John Kerski, Chief of Systems Development, and Gretl Plessinger, Communications Director, for helping move this idea into reality and to Webmaster Regina Blackstock, Brett Ross and Richard Rich for working through the issues and streamlining the process.
October 2007: A New Look!
The Department of Corrections web site makeover began in March 2007 under the direction of Chief Information Officer Gene Hatcher and Communications Director Robby Cunningham. Lead by Webmaster Regina Blackstock, the 3-person web support team produced 31 design concepts by mid-July. The winning design, created by team member Richard Rich, TEK Systems, Inc., completed a round of tweaks over the next month and then it was ready for conversion to HTML.
Web team members Brett Ross and Richard rolled up their sleeves and dug into the mysteries of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) & web accessibility compliance standards. Challenges created by popular “non-standards compliant” browsers were also addressed. By September Brett and Richard had converted the winning design to an HTML template that withstood all known compliance issues. Updates to the website were reduced to a minimum while Brett, Regina and Richard began converting 8,812 web pages to the new design. Laura Spencer and Mark Cann took charge of converting the offender search web applications to the new look. TEK Systems Randal Svea joins the team in early October and helped push the project over the finish line on October 23, 2007.
The team extends a special “thank you” to Jamie Smith, Division of Blind Services, for providing a helping hand with accessibility issues.
November 2006: Have you seen me?
As part of a Department initiative to locate probation absconders, a new web application is developed to feature wanted felons on the homepage. Working under the direction of Community Corrections Absconder Team Members Thomas Seaman and Brian Howell, Webmaster Regina Blackstock develops a way to prominently feature absconders that gives the public easy access to submit tips regarding their whereabouts.
June 2002: History of Corrections in Florida
Working closely with Sterling Ivey (Public Affairs Director), super sleuth Paula Bryant (Research and Data Analysis) rummages through ancient files, tracks down retirees, and follows the trail of old rumors to verify facts and write the interesting stories you find in Florida Corrections: Centuries of Progress. During the six-month long project, members of the OIT Web Support team take turns proofing, updating and tracking down old photos.
September 2001: Web site makeover!
Under the guidance of Sterling Ivey, our website receives a new look, new navigation and a consistent design throughout the site. Thanks go to Betsy Sheffield, Clayton Garrett and Andy Edwards for the hours of tedious work required to covert over 3,500 web pages and to Regina Blackstock, webmaster, for creating the new design and coordinating the conversion. Sincere thanks also go to Glenn Fishback, (Marquis Software Development), for converting our offender search applications to the new design.
December 2000: Absconder/Fugitive Search
Kudos to the Community Corrections and Information Technology staff for following their earlier success (see March 2000: Probation Search) with information and photographs of offenders who have ceased to make themselves available for supervision.
September 2000: Virtual Tours
Many thanks to Lee Berger (Public Affairs Office) for visiting several institutions in order to capture the virtual tour images. Regina Blackstock (webmaster) extracted the digital images from the Nikon CoolPix 990 camera and created our virtual tours using iPIX technology.
February/March 2000: Probation Search and System Upgrade
Florida becomes the first to provide information on its public website of those offenders on probation, community control and post-release supervision (see the press release). Many thanks go to the following for their hard work and dedication to making the Supervised Population Offender Search a reality:
With the increased growth of our website in both volume and activity, we were rapidly outgrowing our first server (see Oct 1997 below). By January 2000 the monthly activity on our website had grown to 7.2 million hits and approximately 68,000 visitors. Under the direction of Pete Caldwell (Computing Services), Scott Morgan coordinated the purchase of a true "enterprise-class" server. Ken Metcalf performed the task of burning-in and converting-to the new Compaq Proliant 8500 (eight 550mhz processors, 2GB RAM, and 54GB disk storage).
December, 1999: Agency Annual Report
While the production of our Agency Annual Report becomes more streamlined for conversion to the web each year, a very special "thank you" goes to Jenny Nimer, Research and Data Analysis, for making this the easiest production to date! She did an incredible job of coordinating the web readiness of text, photos, spreadsheets and graphics. Special thanks also go to Betsy Sheffield and Jesyca Barker, two of the best and fastest HTML coders & graphics specialist around!
August, 1999: A new look!
Under the direction of Secretary Michael W. Moore our website receives a complete makeover. New navigation was added and the homepage streamlined for increased functionality. The photo used for the new design was taken in March 1999 by Robert Theis, Placement and Transition Specialist, as an evening thunderstorm cleared over Jefferson C.I. Website design and graphics were done by our webmaster, Regina Blackstock.
June, 1999: Facility Profiles
While the facility profiles project initially began in January 1998, it did not gain momentum until the following folks took charge:
December, 1998: Agency Annual Report
March, 1998: New Web Applications and a new Homepage Design:
October, 1997: Three major events occurred:
February, 1997: Major restructuring of the site and conversion of the 1995-96 Annual Report done with the invaluable help of the following:
1995-96: During the very early stages of site development, DC staff (in alpha order) stepped forward with content, ideas, and other contributions:
1995: Initially, a CAT (Corrections Action Team, sometimes referred to as a CAT Team) was formed to advise the web effort on content and structure and, in some cases, actively assist in locating resources and otherwise contributing substantively to the pages themselves. Members of this team -- those who attended at least one meeting -- included the following persons:
Last but certainly not least: