During Fiscal Year (FY) 2011-12, the Department of Corrections (DC) faced some great challenges, but under the leadership of Secretary Ken Tucker, the DC was able to navigate these challenges while also experiencing a period of real growth and positive movement.
In FY 2011-12, Secretary Tucker developed and implemented initiatives to help us improve in areas that are critical to mission success. One of those initiatives was to conduct a complete and thorough review of the Department’s classification system – making certain that our system is working properly to ensure public safety and the safety of Department personnel while also providing those in DC’s custody appropriate and timely access to limited program resources.
In February of 2012, an internal Cost Savings Task Force was established to identify and evaluate cost reduction proposals in addition to evaluating strategies already in place. Through Task Force efforts, and suggestions received directly from Department staff, many additional cost savings strategies have been implemented throughout the Agency.
In addition, the Department advanced its commitment to fostering community partnerships to assist the DC with re-entry efforts, enhancing the professional image of the Department, enhancing organizational performance, and ensuring accountability and transparency. Last year, a number of new initiatives and projects were launched to make us stronger in these areas. I invite you to read more about some of these initiatives, as well as other DC accomplishments, later in this report.
One of the most significant challenges any criminal justice agency can face is the loss of one of our own in the line of duty. On March 18, 2012, we lost Sergeant Ruben H. Thomas III, a 24-year-old Correctional Officer, in a senseless attack at Columbia Correctional Institution. He was a remarkable man, committed to public service, who made the ultimate sacrifice. Terrible incidents like this serve as a reminder of the dangers of the Corrections profession – and the bravery of our professionals.
As the newly appointed Secretary and former Deputy Secretary, I’m proud of all that we accomplished in FY 2011-12 with Secretary Tucker’s guidance and leadership. We will continue enhancing partnerships with local communities through our Community Partnership meetings; enhancing organizational performance and ensuring accountability with Performance – Based Assessments; and implementing evidence-based initiatives like the Transition from Prison to Community Initiative (TPCI) that’s aimed at reducing recidivism and victimization – reducing costs for taxpayers and making Florida’s communities safer.
As we look ahead, I’m excited about where we are going and honored to be among the many dedicated DC professionals working to move this Agency forward.
I thank you for your continued support of the Florida Department of Corrections!
Please visit our website to learn more about the Florida Department of Corrections. There, you will find helpful information, including our Agency’s organizational chart with contact information, our reports and statistics, media announcements, and information about all of our Program areas.