Working with probation officers throughout the state, the Florida Department of Corrections’ (DC) Absconder Unit has been successful in reducing the total number of absconders by 40% since the Unit’s inception in February 2001. In February 2001 there were 49,025 offenders who had absconded from probation and failed to report to their probation officers, and by June 30, 2008 the number of absconders had been reduced to 29,425, a total reduction of 19,600.
The continued reduction in the number of absconders can be attributed to the ongoing efforts of Absconder Unit staff who utilize numerous databases and tip lines to generate leads and also to the expanded efforts of field probation staff who have honed their skills for investigating and following up on absconder leads.
The Department has formed partnerships with the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, Agency for Workforce Innovation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, among others. In each case, they share data to determine addresses and locations of suspected absconders, looking for matches. As a result, numerous absconders have been located, and in the case of some aliens, deported.
The Department is also pursuing absconders through cyberspace via the Department’s website, which concentrates on locating high profile absconders like sex offenders and sexual predators on its “Have You Seen Me?” link, which the public can view at www.dc.state.fl.us
In the interest of public safety, the Florida Department of Corrections makes available to law enforcement agencies and the public, information and photographs of offenders who have ceased to make themselves available for supervision and are considered absconders.
Information about absconders can be accessed via the “Offender Search” link on the left column of the Department’s home Web page, www.dc.state.fl.us that directs the user to the Absconder/Fugitive Information Search site www.dc.state.fl.us/Absconder.
Visitors can provide information about an absconder to the Department’s Absconder Unit via e-mail link firstname.lastname@example.org, which is provided on the Absconder/Fugitive Information Search page.
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