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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Frequently Asked Questions

Offender search detail screen. 1. My sister has a prison pen pal who asks for money for various reasons, and I'm suspicious of him. How can I check out what he says he's in for, when he'll be released, etc?

Probably the simplest way to verify information about this inmate is to look him up on the internet at www.dc.state.fl.us/ activeinmates/. You'll need the inmate's name or DC number. This web site will provide information about the inmate's offense, location, sentence, history, custody level, race, sex, age, release date and more. A photograph is also provided. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may call the Inmate Information Line at (850) 488-2533 or the institution where the inmate is incarcerated to get this information, which is public record. If you are looking for an inmate in a county jail, you will have to call the specific jail or detention facility where he or she is incarcerated. The Florida Department of Corrections does not have information about individual inmates in county facilities.

Photo of femaile correctional officer speaking on walkie-talkie.2. I am interested in a career with the Florida Department of Corrections. Where can I get more information?

You may view State of Florida vacancies by accessing peoplefirst.myflorida.com. The statewide vacancy system is updated within 24 hours of a vacancy being advertised, and you can submit your application online or fax a State of Florida application to PeopleFirst at 1-888-403-2110. If you experience any problems applying on-line, please call the PeopleFirst service center at 1-877-562-7287. Specific information about correctional officer and correctional probation officer benefits and requirements can be found at http://fldocjobs.com/. If you have additional questions about the application process you may contact the Statewide Recruitment Center at 386-963-6400. The Department employs about 18,000 correctional officers and 2,100 probation officers. Salaries for Correctional officers start at $30,807 annually and Probation Officers’ salaries start at $33,478 per year. Salaries for certified Correctional Officers start at $30,807 annually and Correctional Probation Officers’ salaries start at $33,478 per year.

3. What's the difference between a jail and a prison?

The most notable difference is that the county generally manages jails and prisons are generally managed by the state. In addition, jail inmates may be awaiting sentencing, and prison inmates have already been convicted and sentenced, usually for a felony. Finally, jail inmates usually are sentenced to a year or less, whereas prison inmates usually have sentences of more than a year. The Florida Department of Corrections keeps track of the number and type of county jail inmates via its monthly "County Detention Facilities" report located at www.dc.state.fl.us/ pub/ jails/ or a copy can be obtained by calling the Bureau of Research and Data Analysis at (850) 488-1801.

4. My son was recently sent to prison and I would like to send him some spending money for the canteen, and his siblings and I would like to visit him. What are the procedures for visiting, sending money, writing to him, etc?

For a complete list of common questions and answers regarding visiting, sending money to or corresponding with an inmate, please visit www.dc.state.fl.us/ oth/ inmates/.

5. My son is being harassed in prison, and I fear for him. To whom can I report this?

Start by reporting it to the prison warden. Contact information can be found at www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities. If the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, or if you deem it of a serious nature, you may want to write to the Office of the Inspector General, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500 or call them at (850) 488-9265. Provide detailed information of your concerns.

6. Do you have anything I can download that would give me a brief overview of the Florida prison system, including statistics?

We have an online handout called “Quick Facts” that provides information about prison life, per diem, recidivism and salaries on one side, and prison and community corrections statistics on the other that may be helpful.

Photo of inmates in orange clothing marching with correctional officer beside a fence.7. How many prisons does Florida have?

The DC has 143 correctional facilities statewide, including 48 prisons, seven private partner prisons, 15 prison annexes, 33 work camps, 20 state-run work release centers, 13 private work release centers, four road prisons, two forestry camps, and one basic training camp. In FY 2011-12, 32,279 inmates were admitted to prison and another 34,463 were released. As of January 2011, Florida had 140 prison facilities, including 61 major institutions, 41 work/forestry camps, one treatment center, 34 work release centers and five road prisons. Florida correctional facilities are divided into major institutions, work camps, work release centers and road prisons. The classification of inmates into these different facilities takes into account the seriousness of their offenses, length of sentence, time remaining to serve, prior criminal record, escape history, prison adjustment, and other factors. The most serious offenders with the longest sentences and those least likely to adjust to institutional life are placed in more secure facilities


Number of Florida Prison Facilities
Facility Summary Total Male Female Population on June 30, 2012 Percentage of Population
Correctional Institutions* 48 44 4 59,349 59.0%
Private Institutions 7 6 1 10,116 10.1%
Prison Annexes 15 14 1 16,960 16.9%
Work Camps 33 32 1 9,732 9.7%
State-Run Work Release Centers 20 16 4 1,962 2.0%
Private Work Release Centers 13 9 4 1,558 1.5%
Road Prisons, Forestry Camps, and Basic Training Camps 7 7 0 850 0.8%
Total Facilities 143 128 15    
Population Total       100,527 100.00%

* As a result of declining prison admissions and excess bed space, DC closed eight prisons and seven work/forestry camps during FY 2011-12. This was part of an ongoing effort to evaluate DC’s use of resources, operate efficiently, and reduce costs to taxpayers. The prisons and camps closed were Mayo CI (Lafayette County), Glades CI (Belle Glade), Broward CI (Ft. Lauderdale), Demilly CI (Polk City), Gainesville CI (Alachua County), Hillsborough CI (Riverview), Indian River CI (Vero Beach), New River CI (Raiford), River Junction WC (Chattahoochee), Caryville WC (Washington County), New River “O” Unit (Raiford), Hamilton WC (Hamilton County), Columbia WC (Columbia County), Hendry WC (Immokalee), and Levy FC (Ocala). No inmates were released early as a result of these efforts and adequate bed space was maintained in order to accommodate projected prison admissions. However, Florida prison admissions have been steadily declining since FY 2007-08.

CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS (CI): Prisons with fences, razor wire or ribbon, electronic detection systems, perimeter towers with armed Correctional Officers and/or Officers in roving perimeter vehicles. Inmates either reside in cells or open bay dormitories with bunk beds. Some exceptions include those confined for disciplinary or security reasons, and those on death row. These facilities are divided into seven levels of security, ranging from minimum custody facilities to maximum custody facilities. About 86% of the Florida prison population is housed in a major institution or annex.

WORK/FORESTRY CAMPS (WC/FC): Minimum to medium custody facilities, surrounded by fences and razor ribbon. Inmates are usually transferred to a work camp after completing part of their sentences at a correctional institution and demonstrating satisfactory adjustment. Most of these work camps are located next to a correctional institution, enabling the sharing of facilities like laundry and health services. Inmates housed at these facilities may be assigned to community and public work squads. Their jobs include cleaning up roadways and rights-of-way, grounds and building maintenance, painting, building construction projects, moving state offices, and cleaning up forests. About 10% of the Florida prison population resides in work/forestry camps.

WORK RELEASE CENTERS (WRC): House two categories of inmates: community custody inmates who are participating in community work release by working at paid employment in the community and minimum custody inmates who are participating in a center work assignment by working in a support capacity for the center, such as food service and laundry. These inmates must be within two or three years of their release date, depending on their job assignment. Sex offenders and murderers may not participate in work release or center work assignments. There are no perimeter fences, and inmates must remain at the WRC when they are not working or attending programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Inmates participating in work release must save part of their earnings for when they are released, in order to pay toward victim restitution as well as room and board. More than 3,000 inmates participate in Florida’s work release programs annually, with about 3.5% of the prison population enrolled at any given time. Work release centers are supervised by DC’s Office of Institutions.

ROAD PRISONS (RP): House minimum and medium custody inmates and have perimeter fences. Most of these inmates work on community work squads and the highways doing road work. Their jobs also include support services to state agencies, such as collecting recycling materials and moving furniture. Less than 1% of the prison population is housed in road prisons.

For a complete list of facilities as of June 30, 2010, go to http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/0910/facil.html. To learn more about specific Florida prisons visit http://www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/.

Photo of Latin Kings cross necklace
Photo of Latin Kings tattoo.
Do you know which group uses the initials “LK” and five-point crown?

8. How can I find out more about gangs in prison?

The Florida Department of Corrections has an extraordinary amount of information about gangs both in prison and around the country on its web site at www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/. The Security Threat Intelligence Unit can be contacted via e-mail at stgiu@mail.dc.state.fl.us or call them at (850) 410-4582.

The tattoo on the right was found on an inmate and represents the Latin Kings. The Latin Kings represent their gang with the five-point crown, and “ALKN” (Almighty Latin King Nation). This group will also use the colors black and gold in their clothing, drawings, and jewelry, such as the necklace on the right.

9. To whom can I talk about my family member's transfer, gaintime, discipline, release, etc.?

Each inmate is placed on a classification team when he arrives at a state prison facility. Any questions concerning the above issues should be directed to the classification officer in charge of that team. (The phone numbers and addresses of each facility are located on the Internet at www.dc.state.fl.us/orginfo/facilitydir.html.) Before contacting the classification officer, please visit www.dc.state.fl.us/ oth/ inmates/ for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding these issues. If you do not have access to the Internet, you may call the institution where the inmate is incarcerated to get this information, which is public record. If you are seeking information about county jail inmates, you will have to call the county jail or detention facility where the inmate is incarcerated - they have no central number to call. The Florida Department of Corrections does not have information on individuals in county jails or detention centers.

Photo of execution gurney.

10. What is Florida's method of execution for death row inmates?

Beginning January 14, 2000, lethal injection became the primary execution method for inmates on Florida's death row. Previously, electrocution was their sole option. For information about death row in general, including a death row inmate's daily routine and a list of those with active death warrants, go to www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/deathrow/.

11. How much does it cost to incarcerate an inmate for a year?

In Fiscal Year 2011-12, it cost $17,972 a year or $49.24 a day to feed, clothe, house, educate and provide medical services for an inmate at any state facility, and $14,059 to do so at a prison for adult males, which are the majority of individuals incarcerated in the Florida state prison system. For more inmate cost per day information, go to www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/1112/budget.html.

Photo of probation officer looking at computer screen showing GPS tracking.12. How many inmates are in Florida prisons? On death row? On community supervision like probation?

On June 30, 2013, there were 100,884 inmates in Florida prisons and 405 on death row. There were also approximately 115,000 offenders on active probation on that date. For statistics on these and other prison populations, go to www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/index.html.

13. What is the recidivism rate for inmates in Florida?

Florida’s recidivism rate is about 30%, which means one of every three inmates released from a Florida state prison returns to prison in Florida within three years. (This does not include the number of inmates who return to county jails, federal prisons or prisons in other states.)