: Prisons - Inmate Health Care, 2008-2009 Agency Annual Report Skip navigation.
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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary


Inmate Health Care

The Department's health care delivery system is managed by the Department's Office of Health Services (OHS) and provides comprehensive medical, dental, mental health, and pharmaceutical services, including: health education, preventive care, and chronic illness clinics. The scope of health services ranges from preventive care, emergency care, inpatient hospitalization, and specialty care, as required. The Department is constitutionally required to provide a health care delivery system that meets the clinical needs of all inmates and achieves community standards. Federal and state law, whether constitutional or statutory, sets forth minimum standards that the Department must meet in order to provide minimally adequate medical and mental health care for inmates under its care and supervision.

Each major institution has an inmate infirmary. In addition, the Department operates a licensed 100-bed hospital to provide acute care for inmates. Reception and Medical Center Hospital is located in Lake Butler, FL. The Department also maintains secure hospital units at Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville (28 beds) and Kendall Hospital in Miami-Dade (24 beds) for inmates requiring additional hospital-level care.

The number of inmates incarcerated in state correctional facilities is increasing and all inmates must have access to health care. Moreover, the number of inmates who are older than 50 years old is also increasing. Elderly inmates are more likely to need critical health care services and resources than younger inmates.

More and more inmates with infectious diseases challenge the Department's ability to continue to provide quality medical care within existing resources. As the inmate population grows, so does the need for additional medical and mental health care. It is the Department's constitutional responsibility to meet the ever-growing need. Through competitive health care contracts and medical and mental health care staff, the agency will strive to provide constitutionally adequate care to inmates through more efficient means.

Mission - CAN DO!

  • Care for inmate health care needs. A healthy inmate is the goal.
  • Apply proactive methods in the Office of Health Services. The goal is to achieve community standards of care through constant education of health care providers.
  • Nurture relationships to provide improved correctional health care (CHC). Will seek assistance from state resources and nationwide CHC data to improve the ability to rehabilitate inmates and reduce recidivism.
  • Develop strong relationships between the Office of Health Services and the Office of Institutions. Work hand-in-hand to proactively prevent illness and longitudinally reduce chronic disease.
  • Organize data collection and management to improve efficiency. Incremental improvements in Utilization Management lead to successful health care.

A Thank You Note

Letter from a dying inmate's family member to Central Florida Reception Center Palliative Care Unit Staff

My name is (redacted); I am the sister of an inmate that was sent to Central Florida Reception Center, and placed in the Compassionate Care Unit. I must admit that prior to this I was unaware of this magnificent life changing program.

The men and women associated with this program are to be commended, praised and admired for the work they have done and do. People like M. Hanson. She has answered every question. Taken the time to give us assurance and quieted our concerns on more than one occasion. I have no doubt that her leadership sets the example for the rest.

The nurses, doctors, the security officers, from the time we enter to the time we leave, are and were not just courteous, pleasant and helpful. They were respectful and compassionate. From the guys in the canteen to inmates walking the compound. A lot of our family are in law enforcement on many levels, and understand how difficult that can be at times. So we appreciate excellent training. Compassion is not a sign of weakness. But one of strength and control.

I cannot say enough about the inmates that through this program have changed their lives. Seeing and speaking with these men. Hearing some of their life lesson stories. How this program influenced a dramatic awareness change for them. Learning through the experiences and misfortune of others as well as their own. Seeing these men care and anticipate the need of each of these unfortunate men . With a sincerity, and compassion that can't be faked. Becoming to some the only "family" they will have in their last days, is so heart warming and emotional. We will never forget these wonderful people. God Bless those that formed this program.

Thank you for having the foresight and compassion that, no person deserves to die alone.

I know as for our family we appreciate and find comfort in knowing that there is someone there for these men. Who through actions of their own put them in the system. Still in their last days have humane treatment and attention to their needs.

We thank you repeatedly. GOD bless and keep you all for your treasures are surely mounting in heaven.

Sincerely Grateful, [Name Redacted]

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