Florida Correctional facilities are divided into major institutions, work camps, work release centers and road prisons. Inmates are assigned to certain facilities based on offense, length of sentence, time remaining to serve, prior criminal record, escape history, prison programs and other factors.
Upon entry to prison, inmates are sent to a prison reception center. Inmates usually spend four to six weeks in the reception process before being sent to a more permanent facility. During reception, an inmate's custody level is determined, health care and programming needs are assessed, and inmates learn the rules and regulations of prison life. They are then sent to a major institution or prison.
Major institutions or prisons are similar to small towns in that they have their own academic and vocational schools, places of worship, medical services, maintenance facilities, parks (for visiting family) and often their own water supplies. All mentally and physically able inmates are assigned jobs at major institutions, and inmates are responsible for all the cooking, laundry, cleaning, farming and lawn maintenance at these facilities.
When inmates near the end of their sentences, they may be sent to work release centers, which allow them to work during the day but return to the center at night and any other time they are not working. Most inmates (60%) are not housed in cells, but in large dormitories with bunk beds along the sides of the room and single beds in the center, so correctional officers can see the entire room at a glance. These dorms are not air conditioned, but do have ceiling fans. Inmates are allowed mail (though not email) and visitors during designated hours.
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