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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Accomplishments and Recommendations

Accomplishments

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.

Office of the Secretary

Office of the General Counsel (Legal Services)

gavel

  • Successfully implemented video-conference hearings for Correctional Mental Health Institutions (CMHI) involuntary treatment proceedings with the Lake County Circuit Court and Lake Correctional Institution CMHI.

  • Handled or assisted with processing public records requests, subpoenas, CMHI/Involuntary medication hearings, CMHI/Recommitment hearings. Reviewed over 4,374 non-appealable employee disciplinary actions, 1,723 appealable disciplinary actions, and 1,523 investigations for the Inspector General’s Office. Completed legal review of 944 contracts, including construction contracts, leases, interlocal and interagency agreements, and other contracts relating to health care services, vocational and educational training, food services, inmate work squads, and community corrections. Represented the department in court in over 400 cases relating to sentence structure and gain time.

  • Coordinated compliance monitoring in Osterback v. Crosby, case no. 3:04-CV-210-J-25MCR. The case involved court ordered injunctive relief (Revised Offer of Judgment) that set standards and requirements for the provision of mental health services and close management (CM) operations.

  • Coordinated discovery responses and Department assistance to the Office of the Attorney General in Brown v. Crosby, case no. 2:03-CV526-FTM-29DNF, a case in which plaintiff’s counsel attempted to certify a statewide class action for injunctive relief that would have restricted and dictated how the Department could use chemical agents. Class certification was denied resulting in dismissal of the case.

  • Coordinated Department responses to discovery and assisted private defense counsel in Butler v. McDonough, case no. 3:04-cv-917-J-32TJC, a case in which plaintiffs seek damages, and declaratory and injunctive relief that would restrict and modify the Department’s use of chemical agents at Florida State Prison. This case is pending.

  • Obtained orders setting aside unlawful exemptions of sex offenders from sex offender requirements. Reviewed 31 sentencing orders and filed four motions to set aside orders. After consultation, the state attorney also filed two motions to set aside orders.

Inspector General

  • Received 24,896 incident reports during the fiscal year ranging from crimes against persons or property to inmate escapes to possession of contraband to inmate deaths. Of these 24,896 incidents reported to the IG’s Bureau of State Investigations, 5,803 official investigations were assigned and 167 were forwarded to State Attorney’s Offices throughout Florida for possible criminal prosecution.

  • Prison lunch tray
    This typical lunch for a state prison inmate includes beans, potatoes, gelatin, a sloppy joe sandwich and a drink.

    Completed 11 audits, four follow-up audits and four reviews. The areas audited by the IG’s Bureau of Internal Audit included salary overpayments, healthcare co-payments by inmates, employee clubs, contracted food service and inmate gratuity funds, among others.

  • Conducted via the Contraband Interdiction Unit unannounced interdiction operations at Department of Corrections facilities, conducted searches for illegal narcotics utilizing Inspectors assigned to the unit and certified narcotic canines, as well as searches for other contraband. During interdiction operations, searched employees, visitors, volunteers, inmates, vehicles and areas on department grounds for contraband. Also subjected employees, visitors, volunteers and inmates to inspection by a chemical detection unit that used technology, referred to as the Ion Mobility Spectrometry, to find traces of illegal drugs.

  • In FY 2005-06, the Office of the Inspector General began restoring the Drug Detection Canine Unit for detecting drugs in and around prison facilities. When fully staffed, the unit will consist of nine full-time canine teams with specially equipped vehicles, located strategically around the state. The canine teams work in conjunction with the Inspector General’s Contraband Interdiction Unit, participating in contraband interdictions and conducting searches at Department of Corrections prisons and other facilities. The Canine teams will also work closely with all of the Institutional Inspectors and will provide investigative support whenever needed.

Drug Detection Canine Unit handlers and their dogs at Wakulla CI.
Drug Detection Canine Unit handlers and their dogs at Wakulla CI are: (l to r) Sgt. Cora Stalnaker and Canine Annie, Sgt. Brett Handley and Canine Fido, C.O. Brian Herbrand and Canine Roy, and Major Kevin Dean and Canine Mollie. Photo credit: Jack deRemer, Inspector Supervisor


Office of Institutions

Bureau of Classification & Central Records

  • Implemented automation of the Close Management (CM) referral and review process. This automation eliminated the use of paper reports, simplified the previous process, reduced the time required to complete CM referrals and enhanced compliance with policy.

  • Provided specialized training programs to Sentence Specialists, Release Officers, Classification Supervisors, Duty Wardens, Reception Center staff and new Classification Officers to enhance classification services.

  • Completed 18 operational audits on nine contract Work Release Centers along with 48 unannounced security visits. Each contract facility was monitored utilizing 76 operational standards, which encompassed security, program components, and food preparation.

  • Processed over $10 million in new contract work release invoices utilizing a centralized process to ensure validity of the invoice and enhanced payment turnaround.

Officer tending plants.
Correctional Officers work a variety of shifts and job assignments. This particular assignment is with a group of inmates who grow plants for prison beautification projects and food for inmate consumption.

Bureau of Facility Services

  • Completed construction of Santa Rosa Annex; Lowell Annex expansion – one secure housing unit and one open bay dorm; one open bay dorm each at Lowell Main Unit, Taylor Work Camp, and Reception and Medical Center Work Camp.

  • Continued with construction of Washington Annex and started construction of a secure housing unit at Santa Rosa Annex.

  • Completed design for Lowell Work Camp and Wakulla Annex.

  • Started planning for Suwannee CI – construction to start 2007 (pending funding) and be completed in 2010.

  • Made modifications at several facilities in waste water treatment, refurbished water wells, repaired water storage tank, and repaired backflow preventers.

Bureau of Institutional Programs

  • Implemented upgraded academic achievement testing processes at reception centers and in education programs at major institutions. The upgrade included conversion to the current Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) Versions 9 and 10, and implementation of new reporting procedures that screened all test data for accuracy and reported data errors back to institutional testing administrators for correction prior to uploading into the Offender-based Information System (OBIS).

  • Implemented new GED testing procedures instituted by the US GED Testing Service and the Florida Department of Education, to include providing in-service training to all departmental GED examiners and proctors. The new procedure decentralized the department’s GED Testing system; nine regional GED Test Centers assumed responsibility for test administration previously assigned to the central office.

  • Established two new vocational education programs in FY 2005-06: a Masonry Trades program at Franklin CI and a Wheelchair Repair Technology program at Tomoka CI.

  • Inmates studying for their GED.
    Many inmates, including some like these at Liberty CI, are part of the Department's GED program. In FY 2005-06, 1,322 inmates earned their GEDs.

    Over 1,000 inmates secured educational instruction through participation in inmate teaching assistant academic programs. Inmate teaching assistant academic programs utilized trained inmates working under the direction and supervision of a certified Academic Teacher to teach inmates. Of inmates enrolled in these programs, 199 secured GEDs in FY 2005-06.

  • Library Services provided general library services to 1,144,686 inmates and law library services to 603,997 inmates in FY 2005-06. Also, new general library and law library programs were opened at Franklin Correctional Institution and Santa Rosa Annex.

  • Secured several grants including $15 million to expand academic and vocational programming to inmates; $1.16 million in federal grant funds for the Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative (SVORI), $1.3 million in federal grants from the “Grants to States for Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Youth Offenders,” and $450,000 from the United States Department of Justice to implement Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) in Broward County.

  • Chaplaincy Services provided religious programming to inmates throughout the Florida Department of Corrections holding 93,600 religious services with a combined inmate attendance of 1.3 million inmates.

Bureau of Security Operations

  • There were only two escapes from Major Institutions/Work Camps/Road Prisons, an 82% decrease from the previous fiscal year.

  • Assaults on staff members by inmates decreased six percent from the previous fiscal year.

  • Security Audit Program completed a total of 40 unannounced security audits at institutions throughout the state.

  • The Security Threat Group (STG) Unit enhanced the penalties for gang-related disciplinary infractions, such as possession of gang paraphernalia and gang-related activity, impacting behavior patterns in the prison population.

  • The STG Unit conducted statewide training of all STG coordinators.

  • Emergency Action Center (EAC) staff responded to over 24,000 calls, teletypes and other requests for assistance from institutions, community corrections, other law enforcement, corrections agencies and the general public.

  • EAC staff conducted approximately 1,305 NCIC/FCIC criminal background checks for various Central Office, institutional and community corrections staff.

  • The Bureau of Sentence Structure and Population Management coordinated over 193,000 institutional transfers, conducted over 9,200 emergency evacuations, processed 93,099 inmate sentence audits, and processed 3,427 post-release supervision revocations.

Bureau of Field Support Services

  • In FY 2005-2006, Department of Transportation (DOT) work squads performed approximately two million hours of work valued at $16.8 million dollars, and public work squads performed approximately 3.6 million hours of work value at $51.8 million.

  • During FY 2005-2006, the contracted work squads performed approximately 758,560 hours of work valued at $10.7 million.

Inmate work squad leaving for work.
An inmate must be a certain custody level to work on outside work squads, meaning they work outside the perimeter fence of the institution.

Safety and Environmental Health

  • During 2005 the Agency initiated renumbering of all buildings and evaluation of property for identification and valuation in the event of a loss. The system was developed in concert with the Emergency Management System to provide for immediate identification of properties and related values. Maps of the department institutional facilities were promulgated containing Global Positioning System (GPS) coordinates for easy location identifiers.

Office of Community Corrections

Bureau of Probation and Parole Services

  • The Department of Corrections’ Office of Community Corrections, Office of Information and Technology, and Office of Institutions partnered with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of State Court Administrators to implement several Jessica Lunsford Act initiatives, including the graduated risk assessment to identify high risk sex offenders (HRSO); electronic transmission of HRSO data to FDLE’s Criminal Justice Network (CJNET) utilized by the courts at first appearances and subsequent hearings to assist in bond decisions; arrest notifications through Florida Administrative Messages; and the Rapid ID system utilized to identify offenders on supervision.

  • Listed Sexual Offender/Predator Special Conditions on Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC): Community Corrections and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement worked in partnership to provide sexual offender/predator special conditions on FCIC inquiries which gave law enforcement additional information about sexual offenders and predators they observed in the community. Once law enforcement confirmed the offender’s supervision status and specifics about the special condition(s) imposed, if the offender was determined to be in violation, law enforcement could arrest to address the violation immediately.

  • The Office of Community Corrections and the Office of Administration received a Davis Productivity Award for the centralization of collecting and processing court ordered monetary obligations. This process reduced the length of time victims and or the family members of a victim waited to receive compensation in the form of restitution. Cost analysis in dollars and savings to the state were measured in victim satisfaction, and the reduction of time and manpower expended. The added value to the state was the Department’s ability to reflect enhanced accounting practices, greater accountability and responsibility to the many victim(s) serviced by the department and to over 144,000 actively supervised Florida offenders.

Bureau of Community Programs

  • At the close of FY 2004-05, there were 524 active GPS offenders under supervision, and 839 at the close of FY 2005-06.

  • The Office of Community Corrections training section assisted in several training programs designed to enhance Correctional Probation Officer knowledge and skills, including:

    • Correctional Probation Officer Basic Recruit Academy where 232 recruits completed this training and successfully passed the State Officer Certification Exam during FY 2005-06.
    • A total of 2,386 certified officers and support staff members underwent OBIS and Court-ordered Payment System (COPS) training.
    • Jessica Lunsford Act Implementation Training provided officers with informative training concerning the new Sex Offender/Predator Registration Laws, procedure revisions, OBIS programming, qualifying offenses, and electronic monitoring requirements.
    • Assisted field officers and local law enforcement agencies in reducing the original number of outstanding probation/parole violations for absconding from unit’s inception in 2001, by 11.7% or 5,151 offenders.
    • Created an Absconder Tracking Database and an Absconder Web site to assist in staff training and tracking of absconders.
    • Posted a top ten “Most Wanted Absconders” list on the Absconder Unit Web site.
    • By establishing Circuit Field Liaisons, the Absconder Unit increased its efforts and ability to apprehend absconders on a statewide basis. Since 2/28/06, the number of absconders was reduced by 4,923 (11.2%).
Deputy Secretary

Heath Services

  • Inmate receiving dental treatment.
    An inmate receiving dental treatment in prison.

    Successfully implemented the new requirement for the collection of a dental co-payment charge in accordance with Florida law by the legislature. A comprehensive Departmental procedure addressing the technical and procedural requirements was also developed and promulgated.

  • Successfully implemented the requirements in the Inter-Agency Agreement with Department of Children and Families for enhancing Post-Release planning for inmates with serious mental illness.

  • Achieved 100% compliance with Correctional Medical Authority’s (CMA) final survey for mental health related issues.

  • In partnership with the Florida Department of Health, successfully transitioned 1,152 special needs inmates into the community through a collaborative grant funded Pre-Release Planning Program.

  • In partnership with Union County Vocational Technical School successfully implemented a nursing rotation cycle at Reception Medical Center (RMC) providing an educational opportunity for student nurses as well as an augmented work force for the Department.

  • Through creative nurse staffing schedules and aggressive nurse recruiting and hiring efforts, the Office of Health Services (OHS) drastically reduced the use of the more costly agency staffed nurses saving the Department nearly $1,000,000 from FY 2004-05 to FY 2005-06.

  • Converted Mortality Review Files from hard copy to electronic files increasing the efficiency of the Mortality Review Component of Clinical Quality Management and solving a massive record storage problem.

Research and Support Services

Bureau of Community Relations

  • The Department assisted communities with neighborhood clean-ups, the donation of refurbished computers, and coordinating minor home construction repairs in the Governor’s Front Porch Initiative.

  • The Department worked very closely with the Governor’s Florida Mentoring Partnership Initiative during FY 2005-06. Approximately 5% of staff participated in mentoring activities in schools, recreation events, serving on local and state boards and committees, and working with non-profit organizations.

  • Promoted a Department-wide book collection campaign, which resulted in the collection of over 47,000 books. The collected books were distributed to non-profit organizations throughout the state of Florida.

  • During FY 2005-06, the Department participated in the Florida State Employees’ Charitable Campaign (FSECC) and collected approximately $500,000 statewide.

Bureau of Inmate Grievance Appeals

  • Processed 35,442 inmate grievance appeals.

Bureau of Staff Development

  • Coordinated over 37,000 training events attended by 404,000 staff resulting in over 2 million hours of staff training for the Department’s 25,746 employees.

  • Coordinated and managed 86 Correctional Officer Basic Recruit Academies training 2,429 Correctional Officers and six Correctional Probation Officer Basic Recruit Academies training 142 Correctional Probation Officers.

  • Received over $1 million in trust funds from the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission for the delivery of Advanced and Specialized Training Program Courses for certified correctional officers and correctional probation officers of the department. 1,424 officers attended 108 advanced and specialized training courses conducted by the Department.

  • Designed and developed a relational Web-based learning management system known as E-Train (Employee Training Records and Instruction Network) to replace the current mainframe STARS training records management system. E-Train is a more versatile application than its predecessor by providing both an on-line training course delivery environment and a training scheduling, tracking, and completion component. Also provides robust relational reporting features to assist staff in compiling and analyzing training- and instructor-related data.

  • Increased staff participation in National Institute of Corrections Training Programs. These programs were provided at no cost to the Department.

Chief of Staff
  • The Office of Public Affairs handled 1,825 Media Calls and coordinated 43 interviews with inmates for Media Agencies, Production Companies, and other entities.

  • The Office of Citizen Services handled 12,034 contacts and correspondences.

Office of Legislative Affairs
  • In the 2006 Legislative session, the Office of Legislative Affairs successfully lobbied legislation (HB 7137) permitting the Department to conduct drug testing for use of steroids upon reasonable suspicion of employees that were in safety sensitive or special risk positions. The Department tested in accordance with the Drug Free Workplace.

Office of Administration
  • The Bureau of Personnel established 749 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) and 162 OPS positions, deleted eight FTE and 107 OPS positions, reclassed 234 FTE positions, and transferred 832 FTE positions.

  • Conducted 28 security audits.

  • DC Personnel procedures: 13 revised/updated, seven new, one rescinded, and 18 Personnel Information Memorandums published (including new procedures on Random Drug Testing, Veterans’ Preference in Employment and Request to Campaign or Hold Public Office and Family Medical Leave Act [FMLA]).

  • Successfully implemented and produced a training video on the new random drug testing program.

  • Conducted pre-employment drug testing training.

  • Conducted Statewide Recruitment Process Survey.

  • Coordinated successful Timesheet Pilot for data entry of manual timesheets into People First (PF) System (with complete process integration expected in early 2007).

  • Integrated New Employee Orientation with Staff Development.

  • The Records Management Program produced 310 tons of recyclable paper processed through the Department’s recycling facility, generating revenue in excess of $20,000.

OIT – Information Technology

  • Implemented Agency e-Newsletter, the “Correctional Compass Weekly” that compiled all “everyone” messages into a single newsletter sent weekly. These changes resulted in a potential productivity return of $1.6 million each year.

  • Developed Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Solution consisting of new Web-based application, policies and materials, to improve safety for inmates and staff. A Davis productivity award was received by the Department for the full PREA solution.

  • Developed Efficient Offender Name and Offender Identifier Search to improve the performance of the Department’s Offender Registration Screen (OT10) by reducing the average response time from seven seconds to one second. The total number of daily transactions processed increased greatly from 10,000 to around 18,000 after this search improvement.

  • Implemented initiatives required by the Jessica Lunsford Act including a graduated risk assessment to identify high risk sex offenders (HRSO); electronic transmission of HRSO data to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s (FDLE) Criminal Justice Network; sending all historical FDLE and State ID numbers in the Enter Convicted records; and a daily exchange of Probation and Parole photos to Florida Crime Information Center and the National Crime Information Center.

  • Implemented a Department-wide Employee Drug Testing Tracking System in order to promote the goal of a drug-free workplace.

  • Established a data exchange partnership with Appriss, Inc. to be used for cross-matching with arrest and booking information nationwide to identify offenders who may be in custody in other jurisdictions. Offenders identified as “in custody”, may be held for the Department to facilitate their re-incarceration.

  • Converted 270 remote networks to new communications equipment capable of encrypting data in the Department’s unique network environment. During the same period all department network locations were evaluated for data network bandwidth needs and most sites were upgraded to higher bandwidths.

Direction

Revitalization

The Department is working to revitalize itself by acquiring and developing employees committed to professionalism, fiscal responsibility, and duty. Therefore, the Department will pursue the following and recommends support to that end:

Officer standing in a truck.
This Correctional Officer from Liberty CI works with an inmate work squad. Work squad inmates perform services under agreements with the Department of Transportation, other state agencies, the Division of Forestry, non profit organizations and many others.

  • Establish a business manager at each institution to help correct the fiscal management and oversight that is missing in the current prison organizational structure.

  • Establish a personnel position at each institution to enhance our ability to provide assistance to prison staff on issues such as health insurance, retirement and new employee orientation.

  • Establish professionally trained and designated recruiting positions in the field in order to adequately attract ambitious and hardworking people to the Department.
    Establish a dedicated training position at each institution to meet the needs of a more specialized and diversified workforce.

  • Provide pay increases in maintenance to attract and retain personnel needed to manage the infrastructure and security components of the Department’s facilities.

  • Provide pay increases to attract and retain capable nursing and mental health staff.

Anti-Crime

To reduce the number of inmates returning to our supervision, the Department is diligently working to enhance programming through non-profit, prison industries, and legislative means. To help reach this objective, the Department will pursue the following and recommends support to that end:

Chapel at ACI.
This Chapel is located on the prison grounds of Apalachee C.I. in Sneads.

  • Increase vocational programming opportunities which will provide inmates desirable job skills once they are released.

  • Increase educational programs which will foster the necessary reading and math skills for an ex-offender to acquire a job and become self-sufficient.

  • Increase in-prison and community substance abuse treatment which will help break the vicious cycle of drug abuse, crime, and incarceration.

  • Provide the life management skills (e.g., household management, bank account accountability, etc.) and the accoutrements (e.g. drivers license, social security card, etc.) to go with them.

  • Increase faith-based programs which will allow for spiritual foundation to reduce recidivism rates.

 

 

 

This section of the 2005-06 Annual Report is also provided as an Adobe Acrobat file. Acrobat Reader, a free program is required. Download the 14 page section (5,780K PDF file) for printing or viewing.