Taylor CI Assistant Warden James Blackwood noticed that the swill containers often filled up with carrots and cabbage on the days those vegetables were served. Gallons of vegetables and beans were going to waste every day as the inmates simply did not favor these vegetables over others offered.
"We give our swill to a hog farmer across the street," said then-Warden Spears, noting that those hogs were the only ones benefitting from the waste. AW Blackwood suggested to Warden Spears that the vegetables and beans be taken out of the main food line and placed where inmates could choose whether they wanted them.
The inmates still received their standard tray of food with an entrée, starch and dessert through the anonymous food line, where inmate servers could not play favorites, but the veggies would now be out in the open and optional on four vegetable tables. (Note that two of these tables were taken from the staff dining area and modified using scrap stainless steel materials.
The other two tables were also built with scrap metal, and all four were equipped with Lexan sneeze guards, saving $1,500 over the cost of commercially purchased tables.)
"We have been using this system for about three months and have been able to reduce the amount of frozen vegetables by approximately four cases per meal depending on the item offered. It has also helped reduce the amount of salad items needed per meal by about one third of the amount required by recipe," said then-Warden Spears. The idea was piloted at Taylor Annex, and will soon be implemented in the main unit and work camp as well.
Community Corrections staff saw a problem and provided a money-saving solution as well. With the assistance of OIT staff and under the leadership of Community Corrections Regional Director Barbara Scala, probation employees began a statewide effort to scan thousands of inactive offender files that will ultimately result in annual savings close to three quarters of a million dollars in leasing storage space, office supplies and postage.
The Department began implementing 12-hour shifts as a pilot program for its security staff at Jefferson Correctional Institution beginning June 10, 2011. If successful, the Department will implement 12-hour shifts for correctional officers at its prisons statewide.
While the 12-hour shifts give correctional officers more time with their families and put more money in their wallets, the shifts also save taxpayers money because it reduces overtime and decreases the number of officers needed at a facility.
Twelve hour shifts require correctional officers to work fewer days — 182 days versus 260 days — and gives them every other weekend off. Officers are paid for an additional four hours of work each pay period. No correctional officers will lose their jobs, as savings will be achieved through attrition.
Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas and Ohio are among the state prison systems that have implemented 12-hour shifts and have recommended them for other Corrections Departments.
The program is expected to save nearly $170,000 annually at Jefferson CI, which is located near Tallahassee.