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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Frequently Asked Questions

    What's the difference between a jail and a prison?

    The most notable difference is that jails are generally managed by the county and prisons are generally managed by the state. In addition, jail inmates may be awaiting sentencing, and prison inmates have already been convicted and sentenced, usually for a felony. Finally, jail inmates usually are sentenced to a year or less, whereas prison inmates usually have sentences of more than a year.

    Who can I talk to about my family member's transfer, gaintime, discipline, release, etc.?

    Each inmate is placed on a classification team when he arrives at a facility. Any questions concerning the above issues should be directed to the classification officer in charge of that team. (The phone numbers and addresses of each facility are located here.)

    What is the current recidivism rate?

    Our most recent report tracked offenders released from FY88-89 to FY93-94, and followed their progress for the next two years. For offenders released from prison during FY93-94, the recidivism rate is 18%, which is a 21.7 point drop from the recidivism rate of offenders released in FY88-89 (39.7%). For a copy of the report call (850) 410-4482. Also see Statistical Overview.

    How many prisons does Florida have?

    On June 30, 1997, Florida had a total of 132 correctional facilities: 60 major institutions (prisons), including five privately run (contract) prisons; 26 work camps adjacent to its prisons; 31 community correctional centers (work release facilities); seven stand-alone work or forestry camps; one state-run and two private drug treatment centers and five road prisons.

    How much does it cost to incarcerate an inmate for a year?

    In FY96-97 it cost $17,958 to feed, clothe, house, educate and provide medical services for an inmate for a year at a major prison.

    How many inmates are in Florida prisons? On death row? On community supervision like probation?

    On June 30, 1997, there were 64,713 inmates in Florida prisons and 380 on death row. Of the 142,911 on community supervision on June 30, 1997, the majority (102,136) were on probation.

    I am a crime victim and my family and I wish to be notified when a certain inmate is released. Who do I contact and how?

    You contact the Department of Corrections' Victim Services section at 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500. Be sure to include the names, addresses and phone numbers of those who wish to be notified of the inmate's release. The Victim Services office number is (850) 488-9166. You may also sign up by website at

    What is the Web address for information on released inmates?

    The address is: Choose either sexual predators or early releases from this site.

    How does the department decide which inmates receive substance abuse treatment?

    The DC currently screens inmates and places them in the appropriate (Tier) Substance Abuse Program based on the inmate's need and readiness for treatment, their sentence structure, program availability and institutional needs or constraints. The number for the Bureau of Substance Abuse Treatment is (850) 410-4434.

    How may I verify that my family member is participating in the substance abuse program at the facility where he or she is housed?

    Due to confidentiality requirements, the program or institutional staff cannot confirm inmates' participation in substance abuse treatment services. The inmates may divulge information regarding their individual treatment issues to anyone they wish, but they are prohibited from sharing information about other program participants.

    I keep getting letters from an inmate, and I'm afraid he might call me. What can I do to stop this?

    All inmate phone calls are collect calls, so you can simply refuse to accept the charges. To stop an inmate from writing you, you may write or call the superintendent at the prison where the letters originated and ask that they be stopped. The names of prison superintendents, addresses and numbers of all prison facilities are located in the back of this annual report. An inmate who continues to write after being asked to stop will be disciplined and could lose gaintime.

    My son is being harrassed in prison, and I fear for his safety. Who can I report this to?

    Start by reporting it to the prison superintendent. Each facility has an Institutional Inspector who will investigate your concerns. If the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, you may want to write to the Office of the Inspector General, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500. Provide detailed information of your concerns.

    I am interested in a career with the Florida Department of Corrections. Where can I get more information?

    You may call Personnel at (850) 488-3130 or look through vacancy announcements on the statewide vacancy system at The statewide vacancy system is updated within 24 hours of a vacancy being advertised, and you can submit your application online.

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