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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Security and Institutional Management

Inmates at Work

The following highlights some of the types of work Florida prison inmates participated in during FY 95-96, and how much it saved Florida taxpayers.

New Bed Construction, Renovation and Repair

Inmates spent more than 3.5 million hours building new prisons, and renovating and repairing existing prisons in FY 95-96. This labor includes everything from pouring concrete to assisting with electrical and plumbing installation. The cost of their labor is estimated at $30.7 million dollars. This is a benefited hourly wage valued at $8.85 per hour.*

Community Work Squad Program

Inmate Clearing BrushThere are two types of Community Work Squads: those that work under an agreement with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and those who work under a local agreement between correctional institutions and agencies such as the Division of Forestry, cities, counties, municipalities and non-profit corporations. The latter are called Public Works/Interagency Community Service Work Squads.

In FY 95-96, the DOT inmate work squads, working under the supervision of staff from both the DC and DOT performed more than 1.8 million hours of work valued at $11.5 million. These squads performed all types of roadway and right-of-way work to help maintain the state's highway system. They also assisted the DOT following natural disasters such as hurricanes and severe storms that created extensive damage to several areas in the state.

Inmate Groundscleaning at CemeteryThe Public Works/Interagency Community Service Work Squads are authorized by F.S. 946.40. During FY 95-96, these inmate work squads performed over 3.4 million hours of free labor at an estimated value of $28.1 million dollars (valued at $8.23 per hour*). The types of work performed by these squads include roadway and right-of-way work for cities and counties, grounds and building maintenance, mowing, litter removal, painting, construction projects, structure repair, office moving and cleaning up our state forests. These work squads also assisted both state and local governments in cleaning up after natural disasters.

The total value added/cost savings generated by the Community Work Squad Program for FY 95-96 was $39,589,048. Total program costs were $17,840,104, resulting in a net value added/cost savings to Florida taxpayers in the amount of $21,748,944.

Farm and Gardening Programs

During FY 95-96, 68 facilities participated in the farming and gardening program. This program provides almost 500 work stations for inmates and involves approximately 300 acres. Inmate's prepare the soil, plant seeds, hoe weeds and harvest and process the vegetables. This year, inmates produced about 5 million pounds of vegetables with a wholesale value of $2.5 million.

Department of Juvenile Justice Construction Project

Inmate Road CrewIn June 1996, inmates at Hendry C.I. and Work Camp began construction of a 32-bed wilderness camp and a 30-bed halfway house for the Department of Juvenile Justice. Through mid-August 1996, over 25,000 hours of inmate labor had been contributed to this project. Bob Rogers, Region V Construction Project Administrator and Facilities Services staff are managing the project, in cooperation with Hendry C.I. staff and inmates. The value of this work is captured under the Public Works Squad/Interagency Community Service work squads section.

Guide Dogs

Inmates at the Gainesville Work Camp are part of a program called Inmates Providing Animal Care and Training (IMPACT). Since 1991, inmates have been involved in raising guide dogs for the Southeastern Guide Dog Association in Palmetto, Florida. The inmates work with these animals for the first 10-12 months focusing on basic obedience training. This not only provides a free training ground for the non-profit corporation, but allows the inmates to earn certificates for training in canine behavior, nutrition and grooming, which gives inmates a head start on a job in dog training and care when they are released. Once the dogs complete their training they are returned to the Association for additional training and placement.

Division of Blind Services

Inmates at Tomoka C.I. and Daytona Community Correctional Center (CCC) assist the Division of Blind Services in several areas. Daytona CCC inmates work at the Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library Service, which is the regional library for the southeastern United States, where they inspect, rewind, sort and file tapes and books, package orders in preparation for shipping and set up meeting rooms. Tomoka C.I. inmates record magazines, textbooks and other literature, make copies, print notices and newsletters, clean, repair and refurbish tape players, and repair Braille machines.

Growing Luffa

The department has entered into a joint venture with Karlan Manufacturing, Inc., to use inmate labor to grow and process Luffa plants. Luffa is a versatile plant that can be used as a scrub brush, as packing peanuts and even as a vegetable. Inmates work in site preparation, planting, crop maintenance and harvesting. Once harvested, the inmates process the luffa plants and send them to Karlan Manufacturing, which sells them. Wages received by inmates are used primarily for paying subsistence and for payments to the state's Crime Compensation Trust Fund, payments for fines and court costs, and family support.

Aquaculture Program

The department has established an aquaculture program at Hendry C.I. to raise and harvest freshwater fish for consumption by inmates. Inmate labor is used in site preparation and maintenance as well as in taking care of the fish until harvesting.

* The base hourly value is determined from the Wage Summary Report for Employment Services Job Openings for FY 95-96, prepared by the Department of Labor and Employment Security, with benefits for social security, retirement, health and basic life insurance added.)