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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Accomplishments and Recommendations


According to Florida Statute 20.315(5), "The department shall report annually to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives recounting its activities and making recommendations for improvements to the performance of the department." The following accomplishments and recommendations are provided to fulfill those requirements.

FY 2002-03 Highlights and Accomplishments

  • Managed 77,316 incarcerated felons and supervised 152,975 offenders on probation and parole (figures as of June 30, 2003). Admitted 28,882 new inmates and carried out the lawful release of 26,599 from the department's custody while ensuring that statutory requirements were met. The majority of these releases, 16,542 (62.2%), were released by expiration of their sentence, followed by conditional release, 4,375 (16.4%) and expiration of sentence to probation/community control, 4,679 (17.6%).
    Photo of building side with sign reading Remembering Our Own - Those Far From Home
    Jefferson C.I. honors its employees who were called to duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Inmates released in FY 2002-03 served an average of 83.7% of their sentences compared to 34.0% 11 years ago. It should be noted that offenders with offense dates on or after October 1, 1995 are required by law to serve a minimum of 85% of their court-imposed sentence.

  • There were no escapes from secure institution perimeters in the last year. In addition, the statewide absconder population was reduced by 1.0%.

  • The community work squads consisting of public works, contracted and interagency community service squads performed 4,358,834 hours of work valued at more than $49.3 million. In addition, the work squads under the supervision of the Department of Transportation performed 2,029,200 hours of work valued at $14,949,945. The total program costs were $29 million, providing taxpayers of Florida with a net benefit of $35 million. The work performed by the squads includes but is not limited to roadway maintenance, litter removal, recycling, maintenance of state forests and parks, landscaping and construction projects.

  • Received a Davis Productivity Award for achieving a cost saving of $618,351.92 in the processing of eligible inmates for conditional release supervision. The department assumed these responsibilities from the Florida Parole Commission (FPC): analyzing, researching, and gathering documents and making recommendations on special conditions to the FPC. A total of 4,436 inmates were recommended for conditional release supervision.

  • Received a Davis Productivity Award for developing an automated system that utilizes the criminal history records of the National Crime and Information Center and the Florida Crime and Information Center in the review of visitor applications. This automation was accomplished in cooperation with the Department of Corrections' Office of Information Technology and decreased application review time by 25%. Over 110,000 inmate visitor applications were reviewed utilizing this automation.

  • Completed conversion of approximately 50 years worth of inactive offender photos and fingerprints to digital images in the Inmate Records Imaging System. This conversion allows inmate records staff to respond within seconds to law enforcement and criminal justices agencies' requests for information, eliminating delays and the cost of special deliveries.

  • The department has established processes to help the Department of Homeland Security identify and apprehend alien/foreign-born offenders, including locating and deporting several hundred sexual predators who were or had been on community supervision.

  • Collected $84,022,246 in court-ordered obligations from offenders, with $31,649,081 of this going to victims of crime as restitution.

  • Implemented a laser-printed self-mailer check form for disbursement of funds collected from offenders as court-ordered payments to distribute 30,000 checks each month. This reduced the number of steps to print and mail a check from five steps to two so that checks can be mailed to victims sooner. Implemented pre-sorted mailing of the checks to take advantage of discounts offered by the U.S. Postal Service. This reduced the cost of mailing the 30,000 checks each month by 10% compared to standard postage rates.

  • Beginning in May 2002 the department contracted with Western Union to enable friends and families to send funds to inmates using their "Quick Collect Service." This service credits the inmates' accounts quicker than mailing a money order. The department receives $1 per transaction, which is estimated to total $715,000 over the three-year term of the contract.
    Photo of dentist working in an inmate's mouth.

  • Mandatory Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training for all 25,000 department employees was accomplished in a timely manner through development of a web application that enabled employees to complete the training, test and confidentiality statement on-line and to record these events.

  • During FY 2002-03, the Information Technology Service Center received 90,914 calls for service throughout the department. The cost per call of the TSC Help Desk was calculated at $4.78 - the lowest in state government for agencies with more than 5,000 employees.

  • Met and exceeded the Minority Business Utilization Goal of $27.8 million for FY 2002-03. Actual expenditures totaled $38 million, representing a 8.6% increase over the previous year ($35 million). Actively participated in minority business trade fairs to further One Florida goals.

  • The department entered into an Energy Services Performance contract with the Florida Power and Light Company. Savings from this contract totaled $1.6 million in Region II during FY 2002-03. An additional nine energy audits were completed in Regions II and IV, with additional energy savings anticipated.

  • Completion of close management consolidation projects at Florida State Prison, Santa Rosa Correctional Institution and Charlotte Correctional Institution, including the construction of exercise areas, classrooms, and counseling rooms.

  • Completion of additional secure housing units at Apalachee, Union, Jefferson, and Mayo Correctional Institutions.

  • Added three faith-based dorm programs at the following locations: Lancaster, Lawtey and Union Correctional Institutions.

  • Developed a statewide agreement with a faith based non-profit group (Kairos Prison Ministries). The weekend retreat and followup activities of Kairos Prison Ministry were first offered in Florida at Union CI in 1978. It is now an active program in 27 Department of Corrections' institutions. In an effort to provide statewide consistency in the program, an agreement has been formalized pertaining to the basic components of a Kairos weekend.
    Photo of sidewalk between buildings with inmates marching and Correctional Officer in foreground.

  • The Dedication Ceremony of the Youth and Adult Automotive Training Center was held on October 22, 2002 at Dade (now Homestead) Correctional Institution. This public/private partnership between the Department of Corrections and Ford Motor Company highlighted our efforts to bring major corporations into the correctional education setting and marked an important step toward increasing high tech/high wage career opportunities for female offenders upon their release from prison.

  • In May 2003 the first inmate graduate of the AAMCO Transmissions Training Center at Polk CI was released and placed as a transmissions technician specialist at an AAMCO shop in Florida. This marked a milestone in our public/private training partnership with another major corporation.

  • Coordinated the agency's Mentoring Program that has approved over 1,900 employees for volunteer involvement in their schools and communities. More than 17,800 hours of volunteer service has been provided since this program began and it is recommended that the program continue in the future.

  • After four years of successful videoconferencing hearings for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (now the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency), our ability to serve the state has expanded from seven sites to nine, with the addition of Jacksonville and Tampa. Collaboration has also been initiated with the state court system to begin court hearings with five DC institutions and 20 state courts. Our success will result in savings of over $2 million annually in transport costs; increased public safety for citizens and judges and a reduction in the volume of frivolous lawsuits from inmates.

  • The Corrections Distance Learning Network (CDLN) facilitated over 30 satellite-training teleconferences with over 70 hours of training, reaching over 3,000 employees. In addition, over 250 videoconference sessions were held, including employee training, meetings, and court hearings. These resulted in savings of well over $700,000 in travel and daily duty costs for the department.

  • Fully implemented faithbased post-release substance abuse transitional programs, as required by Senate Bill 912, with 26 vendors statewide. These programs provided services to approximately 740 released inmates during the year.

  • Received over $2.5 million in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Grant and the Byrne State and Local Law Enforcement Formula Grant to provide in-prison substance abuse program services to inmates throughout the state.

  • Continued Reading Family Ties - Face to Face, which connects incarcerated mothers with their children at distant locations using the Internet and video-conferencing software. During these visits, the children talk about their daily activities, their parents help them with schoolwork, read to their children, and have their children read to them. Developed plan to expand program to serve additional inmates at six institutions and to expand community sites through partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Florida.

  • Project Re-Connect provided transition services to more than 1,000 offenders. This includes job referral and placement, assistance with education, housing, transportation, food, and clothing.
    Tower on cloudy day with razor wire and fencing at base.

  • Crime victims in Florida will soon have rapid access to vital offender custody information by telephone, day or night. The department, in conjunction with the state's sheriffs, is spearheading the implementation of a statewide system called Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE©.)

  • The Florida Legislature appropriated $1 million for the department to implement the VINE Service in all 67 counties, the department and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Once implementation is complete, victims of crime will be able to call from anywhere in the country to register to be notified of an inmate's release, transfer, death, or escape, and to learn the inmate's current location. As of August 2003, there are 56 agencies signed on to implement VINE, and 18 county jails and the department are online with VINE.

  • During FY 2002-03, the department's VINE Service has registered 22,709 victims, for a total of 52,166 registered victims; received 7,090 calls for information, and made 446,383 notification calls.

  • The department has also assumed responsibility for distribution of materials publicizing the Governor's 10-20-LIFE initiative. New contracts have been signed for outdoor billboards around the state to let all Floridians, and those visiting Florida, know about 10-20-LIFE. The department receives daily requests from businesses, law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations, and citizens for 10-20-LIFE materials. In September 2003, the department began sending posters, brochures, bumper stickers and order forms to 11,000 businesses, 1,400 public and private high schools, 600 law enforcement, adult and juvenile agencies.
    Correctional officer in control room stands in front of windows and control panel.

  • During FY 2002-03, the department disbursed over $350,000, in restitution and court costs for inmates working in PRIDE, and almost $860,000, from inmates in work release centers, for a total in excess of $1.2 million.

  • Developed a new offender classification system based on a modeling system that will determine the offender's likelihood of committing a new offense, committing a technical violation, or absconding. The modeling system uses many variables that exist in the database after an offender is initially processed. Since the system is automated, it will eliminate the need for officers and supervisors to complete assessments and reassessments, and scoring will be consistent statewide. Implementation of the new system is expected in September 2003. The new Offender Classification System will include two risk levels of community control to assist officers in identifying offenders who are more likely to re-offend, commit technical violations or abscond.

  • Officers continued to assist in the collection of DNA specimens from offenders currently on supervision for offenses specified in section 943.325, Florida Statutes.

  • An agreement was reached with the Department of Health that will assist officers in verifying that offenders have submitted to an HIV test when required by the court or releasing authority.

  • Designated officers and supervisors were provided training and were certified to conduct computer searches, enabling staff to conduct computer searches in offenders' residences and places of employment.

  • Implemented notification to Florida Department of Law Enforcement of sex offenders enrolled, employed, or carrying on a vocation at an institution of higher education through database entries in November 2002. Staff notifies the educational institution via letter.

  • Implemented database programming to ensure career offender information is appropriately forwarded to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and implemented procedure to advise career offenders of their registration requirements.

  • Prepared for the implementation of S.B. 428, the Howard Futch Act, which requires the department to review and verify whether an ineligible offender was placed on community control and within 30 days after receipt of the order, notify the sentencing judge, the state attorney, and the Attorney General that the offender was ineligible for placement on community control.

  • Recommended development and implemented the Abuse and Exploitation of Elderly Victims program to identify offenders on our public web site that have targeted elderly citizens.

  • In a collaborative effort with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC), a new procedure was established to alert the Absconder Unit via the NCIC/FCIC Computer Terminal in real time when a hit is received for an absconder's name and information for a new arrest or information is requested by any law enforcement agency in the state. This allows the unit to contact that agency immediately so the Violation of Probation/Community Control/Conditional Release warrant can be served. Since the unit's inception the absconder population has decreased each year, this year by one percent.

  • The unit has coordinated almost on a daily basis with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) formerly known as INS. Prior to an offender being released from ICE, custody coordination between ICE, the Unit, and our Field Offices is made to ensure the probationers receive reporting instructions and does not go unsupervised after their release.

  • Provided substance abuse programs to approximately 5,887 inmates during the fiscal year, with an overall successful completion rate of approximately 80%.

  • Provided approximately 34,000 offenders on probation with community-based residential and outpatient substance abuse treatment programming by implementing 115 contracts with 78 private providers in the community.

  • Implemented Project Hope by contracting with Hillsborough and Pinellas counties to provide early intervention efforts for individuals convicted of prostitution or purchasing services from a person engaged in prostitution.

  • Implemented contracts and contract performance standards for the County Jail Incarceration Program. This program allows specific offenders ordered by the court in five counties to be housed in county jail as an alternative to state prison.

  • Contracted for four Probation and Restitution Centers (PRCs) to provide a structured residential environment with a focus on employment, programming, community service work, and victim restitution for offenders directed to the program by the court or releasing authority.

This section of the 2002-03 Annual Report is also provided as an Adobe Acrobat file. Acrobat Reader, a free program is required. Download the eight-page section (1,759K PDF file) for printing or viewing.

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