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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Secretary's Message

Harry K. Singletary, Jr.

Quality Drives the DC Train

Picture of Mr. Singletary To some people, the notion of corrections and quality was an oxymoron. What could a bunch of convict guards know about implementing quality and managing a quality organization? Would DC staff support a significant shift in managerial philosophy? Was it possible to do more with less? And was it possible to change the notion of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" to "if it ain't broke, improve it"?

Thankfully, we answered those questions in the affirmative and handled this latest challenge with the skill and determination that has made the Florida Department of Corrections unique. We were able to do this through the combined efforts of the best corrections professionals anywhere, our staff. As our Values statement reads: "Our most valuable asset is a well-trained, dedicated staff working as a team to meet any challenge." And meet it we did!

Total Quality Management

As we entered the arena of quality, we decided to use the tested principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) as our guide. TQM would provide a framework to assist us in learning to do more with less; include staff at all levels; allow staff to influence the direction of the agency; adopt and adapt a department-wide system to identify and solve problems; and measure, map, modify and document key activities while increasing communication within the community. TQM would also give us a vehicle from which to examine and ensure continuous process improvements in all that we do.

It has been our belief from the beginning that to be successful in corrections, there must be a focus on both management and leadership. From this simple belief emerged our quality style embedded in Correctional Quality Managerial Leadership (CQML).

The Difference between Managers and Leaders

Why Managerial Leadership? Simple. Managers and leaders are not necessarily the same. This distinction is critical. Managers are concerned with doing things the right way. Leaders are concerned with doing the right thing. Managers are concerned primarily with maintaining the status quo and attaining a level of efficiency. They keep things going, especially routines and standard operating procedures. Leaders, on the other hand, are concerned with effectiveness; they are inventors, risk takers, and entrepreneurs. They can cut through the smoke screen of preconceived notions and examine all sides of an issue. They want to learn and improve. They also want to acknowledge collective staff accomplishments.

Management is a science; leadership is an art! Management equals mastering routines to achieve efficiency. Leadership equals vision and judgment to achieve effectiveness. Today, we need a convergence of these two important forces in our workplace. Managerial Leadership combines both of these concepts. Managerial leaders, therefore, do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason, at the right time, and they do it right the first time. They are both efficient and effective and are able to do this through enthusiastic staff participation. Thus, CQML was born within DC based on the value which states: "We...believe in an innovative approach to decision-making based on sound correctional judgment."

Our Values: People, Training, Accountability

CQML, our continuous quality improvement program, is built upon a foundation of three additional values, as pillars:
    "We, the members of the Florida Department of Corrections, believe...in the worth of the individual." Everyone is included and every 1/27,000th piece is important. We believe "our most valuable asset is a well-trained, dedicated staff working as a team to meet any challenge." We are challenged to do more with less. We must work as a team moving forward successfully. Training in the tools and the process of CQML is necessary for consistent improvement. Finally, we believe "that we have an obligation to be accountable and effective in our use of resources." Fiscal and human resources must be invested strategically and effectively for a safe Florida.

Another milestone in the department's journey into CQML was reached with our first Quality Coordinator's Conference. This conference re-ignited the improvement process within DC, highlighted what has been done and reminded us of what is possible. Then there was the "Waves and Images" team that was one of six finalists at the Sterling Conference Showcase. DC, Central Florida Reception Center and "the team" were indeed breathing rarified air. Faced with spiraling medical costs associated with inmate health care needs, the team worked with a local company and contract hospital to bring medical testing equipment to CFRC. Their efforts saved Florida taxpayers $400,000 a year. Thanks to everyone for participating. We plan to listen to everything you told us when planning for future Quality workshops and partnering CQML efforts.

Evaluations

We constantly asked for feedback. Evaluation results of the Quality Management Plan were incorporated into the final draft of the document (now known as the Resource Guide to Correctional Quality Managerial Leadership). Here's what we learned from the written survey and through informal questionnaires:

  • 95% were satisfied with content of the conference;

  • 92% agreed or strongly agreed that the conference increased their understanding of CQML;

  • 92% thought the conference goals were met;

  • 95% said they now better understand their role as a Quality Coordinator;

  • 96% described the conference as "excellent," "good," "innovative," or "beneficial."

What did this teach us? For starters, it reminded us of the tremendous talent within DC and that we can compete with anyone. We're a business and we need to act like one if we are going to successfully meet the challenges of the future.

For the Florida Department of Corrections' continued success, everyone must embrace quality as an individual and personal opportunity. We must each stay the course. Continuous quality improvement is a journey, not a destination. There is no substitute for individual commitment and hard work.

Start Sweating, Geniuses!

Thomas Edison once said: "Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration." I am challenging each of you to perspire often and regularly. Go forth and sweat.

Secretary Harry K. Singletary, Jr. is chief executive officer (CEO) of the Department of Corrections. He was appointed to this position by Governor Lawton Chiles in April 1991. Singletary worked for 11 years in juvenile corrections in Illinois before moving back to Florida to accept a position as Region V Director in 1979. As DC Secretary, he is responsible for the direction and operation of all aspects of the Florida correctional system. During his tenure, he has sought to decentralize the department's administrative functions using Total Quality Management techniques and has emphasized training and staff development, community partnerships and increased public safety.