James V. Crosby, Jr.
In accordance with Florida Statutes we present this year's annual report. The Department of Corrections’ mission is to protect the public by operating a safe, secure, humane and efficient corrections system.
As the crime rate in Florida continues to fall to its lowest level in 30 years, the number of people sentenced to prison has increased. From July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004, the number of inmates admitted to prison increased 10.4%.
Working outside the fence, as our thousands of Correctional Probation Officers do daily, can be equally dangerous. Supervising the 151,150 offenders on some form of community supervision (probation, community control, etc.) as of June 30, 2004 requires the combined skills of counselor, warden and teacher. More than half of the offenders on supervision (52.4%) were sentenced for drug crimes (26.9%) or property crimes such as theft, forgery or fraud (25.5%). Over 100,000 offenders (100,557) were admitted to community supervision from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2004, and most of them (56.0%) had no prior DC supervision commitments. Almost one-third of those admitted (32.5%) were sentenced for drug crimes. The number of offenders released from supervision has increased in the last five years, from 94,765 in FY 1999 - 00 to 100,259 in FY 2003 - 04. Of the 100,259 offenders released in FY 2003-04, 28.7% were released from community supervision through satisfaction of their sentences.
This fiscal year the department faced challenges unlike any in our history. With four major hurricanes striking the state, all department staff were affected. In storm damaged regions, employees reported to work, sometimes leaving their families to contend with the storm damage to their homes and property. But we were not only helping each other internally; we were helping in local communities. Inmates worked over 90,000 hours clearing felled trees, sandbagging, unloading and distributing supplies and building materials, working roof repair on prison dorms, and clearing public roadways. Acts of kindness and personal sacrifices were repeated multiple times across the state in a variety of ways and I'm proud of how our employees responded during this historic hurricane season.
The work of the Department of Corrections stretches over the entire state. I am proud of our team and we will continue to strive for excellence as we serve the citizens of the state of Florida.