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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Other Programs

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE GROUP

Broward Correctional Institution established a partnership with Hospice Care of Broward County in 1989. The basic mission is to provide educational services and a support group for women with chronic and/or terminal illnesses. There were no participants during Fiscal Year 1998-99. However, the program is being realigned through the Vista Volunteer Organization.

IMPAIRED OFFENDER ASSISTANT

A program to train offenders to assist physically and mentally impaired offenders in the activities of daily living was started at Broward Correctional Institution in 1992. The offender assistant provides help to those in need in the areas of body mechanics; ambulating; motion exercises; positioning; bathing; feeding; daily living transfer techniques; bed making; turning; nail care; safety issues; basic hygiene; wheelchair usage; walking with crutches, and human interactions. The offender assistant training program is ongoing and one (1) offender participated during Fiscal Year 1998-99.

COMMUNICATION BRIDGE PROJECT

The project was implemented at Broward Correctional Institution in 1994. The mission of the program is to utilize dance and movement techniques to enhance the self-esteem, development, and communication skills of the offenders. Dance and movement provide a non-intrusive way for offenders to establish a safe environment and expand personally. Dancing encourages and enhances self-concept through the abstract of personal experiences. An enhanced sense of community and communication has resulted. Two-hour workshops are conducted weekly. Workshop activities include mediation; psychodramas; theme and art projects; improvisation movement; position-guided visualizations; drawing, story telling; and the personal sharing of experiences. Sixty-two (62) women participated in Fiscal Year 1998-99. Each workshop cycle has a twelve-week curriculum. The results of this program are shared with the offender population in a program performance at the end of the curriculum.

This program is also being offered at Dade Correctional Institution with an average participation of (20) offenders.

GIRL SCOUTS BEYOND BARS

A "benchmark" girl scouts program was implemented in 1995 at Broward Correctional Institution. This mission of this program is to:

  • reduce the trauma of daughters due to separation from their mothers,
  • improve the parenting skills of the incarcerated mothers, and
  • provide opportunities for mothers and daughters to communicate better.

Daughters, who range in age from 5 to 17, are eligible to gather for the troop meetings with their incarcerated mothers. One aspect of this program is the parent trainer class. Offenders are provided training opportunities from troop volunteers in the community to assist their daughters with basic skill instruction. Troop meetings are conducted every second and fourth Saturday. The program is ongoing and seventeen (17) incarcerated mothers participated in this program during FY 1998-99.

SEWING CLASSES

The vocational sewing classes at Broward and Lowell Correctional Institutions partner with the community in some unique projects that include the construction of children's clothes and rag dolls. Three community partners benefit from the program; at Broward CI the most recent is "Project Lollipop." This is a Miami Children's Hospital initiative, and the women are making rag dolls for sick children. These projects have been ongoing since 1991. Averages of fifteen (15) offenders are involved at each facility. Lowell Correctional Institution donates their projects to local abuse shelters.

ENGLISH FOR SPEAKERS OF OTHER LANGUAGUES (ESOL) Offenders learn to read and speak basic English at Dade Correctional Institution.

WOMEN HELPING WOMEN

This program started in 1992 around a kitchen table, as a support group for five formerly battered women. From this informal beginning came an outline for a six-week educational curriculum. Although initially directed to those women seeking clemency for killing their abusers, the program was expanded to help all women become aware of the cycle of violence. In 1993, participants were featured on the nationally syndicated "Jerry Springer Show." The pilot program began at Jefferson Correctional Institution and has expanded to the other female institutions. The program has developed into two, twelve-week phases: the first involving education about abuse and the second consisting of a peer-facilitated support group. Over 3,000 females have participated in the program. Currently, interns from Florida State University provide this program three times a year to the female institutions.

PREGNANT OFFENDER PROGRAM

Pregnant offenders are assigned to Broward and Lowell Correctional Institutions and receive the quality care commensurate to that in the community.

Broward Correctional Institution: If a new pregnant offender is received at Broward Correctional Institution who is less than 35 weeks in term and has no contradicting physical condition to prohibit it, she is transferred to Lowell Correctional Institution within fourteen days of her arrival. If she remains at Broward, the medical department coordinates weekly "in house" appointments with an Obstetrician. At time of delivery, the pregnant offender is transferred to one of two local hospitals, South Miami Hospital or Memorial Hospital West. A total of nine babies were born during calendar year 1999. In January 2000, three (3) pregnant offenders were housed at Broward C.I.

Lowell Correctional Institution-Female Unit: An OB/GYN specialist provides services from Ocala. Sixty (60) pregnant offenders were received at Lowell Correctional Institution in 1999. There were twenty-two (22) incarcerated pregnant women from 1998 who had not delivered for a total of eighty-two (82) pregnant offenders housed at Lowell Correctional Institution in 1999. During the 1999 calendar year, 66 babies were born. The Pregnant Offender Program is a partnership arrangement between the Department of Corrections and the Department of Children & Families. A family Services Specialist position is located at the institution and assists in the placement of the baby after birth. There have been approximately 300 women assisted since the program started on December 1, 1995.

PARENTING CLASSES

At Lowell Correctional Institution, a sixteen-week class sponsored and paid for by the Department of Children & Families, Family Safety & Prevention Program is conducted by the University of Florida's Department of Pediatrics. The class size is for sixteen (16) offenders, offered three times per year for sixteen weeks and meets for 1-1/2 hours each week. Pre and post tests are administered. In 1999 seven (7) offenders completed the program.

A six-week class, meeting 2 hours each week, is offered at Dade Correctional Institution with fourteen (14) offenders participating. EVEN START was initiated at Broward and Lowell Correctional Institutions in 1996 and is also in existence at two community centers. The program is funded by federal grant and is designed for children between the ages of birth and seven (7) years. Educators are utilized to break the cycle of crime by enhancing the development experiences of the children. The program provides a family literacy model, early childhood education, adult literacy and basic education and parenting. Incarcerated mothers receive parenting instructions that include child development, effective communication skills, age appropriate discipline methods, life skills, and career guides and information. Parent and child "together time" is provided and allows both the mother and caregiver to participate in independent enrichment activities with the child. The program meets weekly for three hours for a required duration of thirty-six (36) hours. Participants at Broward Correctional Institution in FY 1998-99 totaled 40.

WELLNESS PROGRAM

The Wellness Certification Program is available at all the facilities and is an in-depth study consisting of physical applications combined with textbook knowledge of various components and elements of wellness. The class is conducted three times a week for one hour per session. It is a 12-week program with an average of thirty-two (32) offenders in attendance. The participants receive the knowledge to enable them to live healthier, fuller lives by making better and wiser choices.

FULL FIGURE AND FINE

This program caters to women who are overweight and is offered at Broward Correctional Institution. The program offers an alternative opportunity for women that are challenged or limited in participating in regular wellness classes. It provides less strenuous physical activities in order for the women to reach their health-related goals and build higher self-esteem. Participants are involved in activities of: goal setting; skin fold testing; writing objectives, counseling, fitness planning and utilizing vitals and national score cards.

YOGA

This relaxation class is offered at Broward and Correctional Institution. Offenders use videos, meditation, visualization, and exercises. The purpose of the program is to improve concentration and focus, manage stress, and improve self-concept. During the FY 1998-99, three hundred and thirty-one (331) women participated in the program.

At Dade Correctional Institution an average of twelve (12) inmates participate in this program three times per week.

AEROBICS & TEA BO

These two classes are offered at Dade Correctional Institution. Offenders use videos and facilitate the cardiovascular exercises to improve muscle tone, flexibility, balance and relief of everyday stress.

HEALING BREATHWORK

Broward Correctional Institution offers this class to teach breathing techniques that will assist as another means for coping and having a healthier perspective. The class meets weekly and includes UGI breathing; rhythmic breathing; relaxation; and guided visualization. During the Fiscal Year 1998-99, three hundred and twenty-eight (328) women participated.

THEATER GROUP

Starting in 1998 at Broward Correctional Institution, this activity provides an outlet to fulfill the desire to perform self-expression and participation in the "Arts". The women rehearse original or state theater adaptations and conduct "on stage" programs within the institutional community. One hundred and seven (107) women participated during the Fiscal Year 1998-99.

PRE-RELEASE

All the female facilities have pre-release programs aimed at assisting the women with their transition into the community. This eight-hour (8) program is offered to the women who are within 180 days of their release. Videotape presentations are viewed and discussions occur relating to re-entry into the community. Some employment and housing coordination occurs.

WALK: Writing A Link to Kids

The WALK: Writing A Link to Kids program is designed to teach offenders to express themselves in a journal. It is believed that people become better overall communicators when they have a private, uncensored outlet for their thoughts and feelings. In a prison environment, offenders do not have munch privacy in their everyday lives, and this may cause an abundance of stress, anger, and depression which leads to a deterioration of self-esteem, health, and family relations.

The women are taught how to transform their journal entries into letter to their children and families. These writings assist them in explaining things that have been hurtful and difficult to discuss before, which ultimately leads to forgiveness and understanding. The women in WALK are also taught: meditation and creative visualization techniques; how to transform journal writing into letters and poetry; how to be a good critic of the writing of others; anger management; literacy skills; and how to give their own prompts for writing once the course has ended. There is no education or literacy level requirement for the program. Thirty-five (35) offenders completed this program at Broward Correctional Institution in 1999. This program is targeted for participation expansion in calendar 2000 with a projected approximate total of two hundred offenders.

Aquaculture Program

Aquaculture is the cage culturing of fish. In simpler terms, the raising of fish in cages. This program began at Broward Correctional Institutional in the late Fall of 1998 with just over 2,000 catfish fingerlings. The female offenders initially constructed a total of four cages. Using PVC piping, the cages float and are tied to a dock that was also constructed by the offenders. Aerators keep the dissolved oxygen levels in the lake at the appropriate range to ensure the fish are not being stressed.

Daily, the offenders feed the fish, check the water quality by performing chemical tests, check aerators, and conduct dissolved oxygen readings. Other duties the women perform include cleaning the lake area and keeping algae from accumulating on the cages. This program has taught them a trade that can provide an employment opportunity upon their release. The Aquaculture Program also provides fish as a food source for individual correctional facilities. As of January 1, 2000, the program has expanded to ten cages and 5,000 fingerlings.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE

The Florida Department of Corrections has comprehensive substance abuse services at major institutions, community correctional centers, work camps, and community facilities. These programs annually serve approximately 13,000 to 18,000 offenders with substance involvement, abuse, dependence, and related issues. All incoming offenders are screened during the Reception and Classification process with regard to their needs, if any, for substance abuse services. Offenders assessed as being in need of services are either sent directly to the appropriate Tier program or placed on a waiting list, pending availability of such programming. Department staff and contractual agreement services deliver the substance abuse programs offered. Approximately 80 percent of the programs are delivered through contractual agreement with private providers throughout the state. All Tier programs must be licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services, in accordance with Chapter 65D-16 FAC.

Dual Diagnosis - Twelve (12) month full service residential Therapeutic Community (TC) program. Through an integrative approach, offenders work on their psychiatric and substance disorders at the same time. Each counselor provides treatment services to no more than (fifteen) 15 offenders. Offenders engage in comprehensive relapse prevention planning. Counselors will develop recommendations and referrals and offenders will make contact with treatment networks or support systems in the community, as appropriate The program is an eight to twelve month therapeutic community residential treatment initiative.

Tier 1 - Forty (40) hour psycho-educational program to address needs of offenders who:

  1. have a less severe substance abuse problem; or,
  2. are believed to have a severe problem but are denying that the problem exists and are not ready for treatment; or,
  3. are identified as being a risk for substance abuse; or,
  4. due to a very short sentence, will not have the opportunity to go through a longer-term program.

Each counselor provides services to no more than forty-five (45) offenders. The program serves as an introduction to 12-step fellowships and other support groups. Counselors makes recommendations and referrals for offenders to continue treatment and/or their recovery process. Any interested women can participate if space is available. Specific gender issues are addressed include cocaine mothers, women and aids, child abuse, incest, rape and battering, parenting, sexuality, self-esteem and women's health issues.

Tier 1 - (Youthful Offender) Four- (4) month modified Tier 1 program. Designed to provide psycho-education to the women assigned to the Boot Camp.

Tier II - Six (6) month intensive outpatient modified therapeutic community program. Participants involved in treatment activities a minimum of sixteen (16) hours per week. Activities include individual, group or therapeutic community activities. Each counselor provides treatment services to no more than twenty (20) offenders. Therapy is short-term and focuses on behaviors and their consequences and defense mechanisms including denial. Participants continue education, engage in self-exploration and relapse prevention planning. Counselor makes recommendations and referrals for offenders to continue treatment and/or their recovery process.

Alternative Tier II (and Tier IV) - is designed for the offender who perceives and objects to participating in substance abuse programming which may contain religious content.

Tier III - Nine (9) month intensive residential Modified Therapeutic Community (MTC) Program. Each counselor provides treatment services to no more than fifteen (15) offenders. Offenders continue their education and accept responsibilities to work on their personal recovery issues including breaking through denial. They will engage in comprehensive relapse prevention planning, and will be encouraged to participate in 12-step fellowships and other support groups. Counselors will develop recommendations and referrals and offenders will make contact with treatment networks or support systems in the community, as appropriate.

Tier IV - Twelve (12) month full service residential Therapeutic Community (TC) program. Each counselor provides treatment services to no more than fifteen (15) offenders. Offenders continue their education and accept responsibility to work on their personal recovery issues including breaking through denial. They will engage in comprehensive relapse prevention planning. Counselors will develop recommendations and referrals and offenders will make contact with treatment networks or support systems in the community, as appropriate.

Tier V - Four- (4) month community-based intervention counseling services provided to offenders assigned in Community Correctional Centers. Each counselor provides services to no more than thirty (30) offenders who have successfully completed Tier II, III, or IV. These services focus on relapse prevention planning. Program involves offenders in short-term individual and group counseling, and educational seminars. Offenders are introduced to and encouraged to participate in 12-step fellowships and other support groups. The final month in the program is devoted to preparing offenders for community re-entry. Emphasis is placed on developing linkages for social and supportive services in the community.

Tier V - Four (4) month program for delivery at work camps, road prisons, and institutions to offenders who are nearing their release date(s) or eligibility for Community Work Release programming, and who have successfully completed Tier II, Tier III or Tier IV. Each counselor provides services to no more than (thirty) 30 offenders. Institutional Tier 5 programs assist the offender in developing community contacts to assist in continuing recovery after release.

Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous - General AA and NA meetings are open to all interested population offenders. The purpose of this program is to carry out the message of recovery and provide opportunity for offenders to become more involved in Step Study. The general meetings are conducted weekly.