Fiscal Year 2008 -2009 was the first time in history Florida’s inmate population exceeded 100,000. Like all state agencies, we faced a challenging economy and shrinking budget, but despite these obstacles Department employees succeeded on many fronts.
The mission of the Florida Department of Corrections is to protect public safety, ensure the safety of Department personnel, and provide proper care and supervision of all offenders under our jurisdiction while assisting, as appropriate, their re-entry into society.
While achieving our mission in Fiscal Year 2008-09 proved challenging, with innovative ideas, hard work and determination we met our goals.
We moved forward with launching our re-entry agenda, despite limited resources. Throughout the system we initiated innovative projects in our prisons and probation offices designed to help inmates prepare for their re-entry into society. Community partnerships were developed and strengthened across Florida to create a support system for inmates and probationers to help keep them from returning to a life of crime and victimizing more of our citizens.
Two re-entry institutions (Demilly and Baker Correctional Institutions) were opened, and an additional Faith and Character- Based Institution (Glades Correctional Institution) was added. Florida also received the maximum funding allowed under the Federal Second Chance Act to assist us in our re-entry efforts in the Jacksonville area. On the education front, the number of inmates earning GED certificates jumped 49% over the last two years.
In Community Corrections, we’ve also made great strides forward. The percentage of offenders who successfully completed probation jumped 14.7 percentage points (29.4% in January 2007 to 44.1% in July 2009). In addition, the number of offenders who committed a technical violation of supervision and were sent to prison decreased by almost 19% or 1,971 offenders. We partnered with law enforcement agencies from Volusia, Seminole and Orange Counties every quarter, making surprise visits to the homes of over 5,000 violent felony offenders. These contracts resulted in the arrests of 246 violent felons who had violated their probation and the seizure of a methamphetamine lab, weapons, narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and pornographic images from sex offenders.
These are only a few of our achievements this year. This Annual Report will detail these and additional accomplishments and offer recommendations for the future.
If you are looking for additional statistics about our agency, go to www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/0809/stats/toc.html for complete tables and graphs.
“You Never Walk Alone”