Since eighty-eight percent of all state inmates will eventually
be released into society, it makes sense for us to concentrate
on educating them and providing them an opportunity to
learn a trade and to be treated for their substance abuse problems.
To that end, we have made tremendous progress this
year. GED rates are climbing, and we expanded our programs
to our work camps so that inmate teaching assistants are helping
give back by preparing other inmates for the GED tests.
In August 2009, we dedicated our second re-entry facility,
Baker Correctional Institution in Sanderson, which joins
Demilly Correctional Institution in Polk County as the only
facilities in the state completely dedicated to our unique reentry
mission. In addition to academics, staff at these facilities
are schooling soon-to-be released inmates in vocations such
as plumbing, electrical and carpentry/woodworking, so they
will have hands-on experience upon release and when they
start looking for work.
Just two months after the opening of Baker CI, and despite our
challenging economy, our Department, along with the City of
Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, received a
$750,000 federal grant from the Federal Second Chance Act
to be used to further our re-entry efforts.
We also joined forces with the Department of Veterans Affairs
(VA) by entering into a three-year agreement to identify
military veterans being released from prison and those on
community supervision. With that information, the VA is assisting
eligible inmates with their mental health, medical,
substance abuse, and housing needs.
In Community Corrections, our probation officers have
partnered with local law enforcement and stepped up our
unannounced sweeps of offenders' homes. As a result, law
enforcement officers have confiscated everything from a half
a gallon of a date rape drug to automatic weapons, large sums
of cash and drugs, and related paraphernalia. These sweeps
are a good example of our commitment to public safety outside
the prison walls, and through them a number of offenders
who have proven they have no intention of changing their
ways have been removed from the streets.
I invite you to turn the page for more details about all we have
accomplished in the last year. If you are looking for additional
statistics about our agency, please go to www.dc.state.fl.us/
pub/annual/0910/stats/toc.html for complete tables and