The Florida Department of Corrections houses more than 102,000 inmates and has not had an escape from the secure perimeter of one of its prisons since 2006. Our low escape rate can be attributed to a number of factors, including razor wire barriers and improved technology for perimeter fences; security hardened facility construction improvements; better training and supervision of officers and improved contraband control. When an escape does occur, we refine our system to eliminate the problem that contributed to the escape.
Escapes by Quarter
Escapes From Florida Prisons Compared Over Ten Years**
The Department's Fugitive Unit was created in January 2007, using existing staff and resources. The Fugitive Unit is responsible for all fresh escapes (including walk-aways from work release) as well as for the investigation and recapture of cold-case fugitives. A cold-case fugitive is any subject who has escaped and remained at large for more than 30 days. Some of those cases are older (and colder) than 60 years. Since January 2007, there have been 560 fugitive cases cleared by recapture, death of the fugitive, or other administrative action leading to closure of the fugitive file.
Notable Fugitive Cases from FY0910
Cold case fugitive Charles Sparks, FL DC #084291 (below left) escaped from the Reception and Medical Center at Lake Butler on 06/17/1983 while serving a 20-year sentence for dealing in Methaqualone. He was recaptured on 03/24/2010 in New Hanover County, North Carolina, by Special Agents from the Social Security Administration's Inspector General's Office. He had been using the identity of a deceased subject to work and pay taxes since his escape and was recaptured when he attempted to collect disability benefits under that assumed identity.
Fugitive Paula Carroll, FL DC #155250 (below right), escaped from Lowell C.I. on 09/03/1975 while serving a five year sentence for dealing in stolen property. She was recaptured on 04/20/2010, her 56th birthday, by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Fugitive Unit after an anonymous tip to the Department's Emergency Action Center was provided to the Fugitive Unit. Fugitive Carroll had been using a false identity to avoid recapture.