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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get some information about privatizing prisons?

The most controversial privatization issue in the Florida corrections arena is whether to turn over the operations of an entire prison to the private sector. The department's cost analysis demonstrates that private prisons actually cost more than comparable DC facilities. For a detailed analysis of privatization, visit our website at http://www.dc.state.fl.us/administrative/reports/privatize/.

I read recently that some inmates were executed on their first warrant. Isn't that unusual? I thought an inmate had an average of three warrants signed before he or she is executed.

Until September 30, 1996, inmates who were executed had an average of 2.9 warrants signed before they were executed. A new law took effect on October 1, 1996, requiring that death row inmates be given only one death warrant that remains in effect until they are executed. The previous death warrants expired after a limited time.

My elderly aunt has a prison pen pal who asks for money for various reasons, and I'm suspicious of him. How can I check out what he says he's in for, when he'll be released, etc?

Probably the simplest way to verify information about this inmate is to look him up on the internet at www.dc.state.fl.us/activeinmates/inmatesearch.asp. You'll need the inmate's name or DC number. This web site will provide information about the inmate's offense, location, sentence, history, custody level, race, sex, age, release date and more. A photograph is also provided, which has inadvertently ended some pen pal relationships when the correspondent learns that the inmate they are writing to is not the race or even gender they claimed. If you do not have access to the internet, you may call the Office of Information Services at (850) 488-1801 or the institution where the inmate is incarcerated to get this information, which is public record.

I am a crime victim and my family and I wish to be notified when a certain inmate is released. Whom 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 request to be added to the victim notification database at www.dc.state.fl.us/security/admission/victasst.html.

Photo of Mayo CI Correctional Officer
Helping Out in a Crisis - When fires raged through the woods in Taylor county, Mayo CI provided their training center as a staging area for firefighters and emergency personnel. This Mayo CI correctional officer was one of many DC personnel assisting the firefighters at the training center. Twenty-eight percent of all correctional officers working in the Florida prison system are women.

To whom can I talk 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 in the back of the annual report.)

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

In FY97-98 it cost $18,907 to feed, clothe, house, educate and provide medical services for an inmate for a year at a major prison.

What is the current recidivism rate?

Our most recent report tracked offenders released from FY88-89 to FY94-95, and followed their progress for the next two years. For offenders released from prison during FY94-95, the recidivism rate is 18.8%, which is a 20.9 point drop from the recidivism rate of offenders released in FY88-89 (39.7%). For a copy of the report, visit our website at www.dc.state.fl.us/data.html or call (850) 410-4482.

How many prisons does Florida have?

On June 30, 1998, Florida had a total of 131 correctional facilities: 60 major institutions (prisons), including five privately run (contract) prisons; 26 work camps adjacent to its prisons; 29 community correctional centers (work release facilities); 11 stand-alone work or forestry camps or treatment centers, and five road prisons.

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.

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

On June 30, 1998, there were 66,280 inmates in Florida prisons and 367 on death row. Of the 144,733 on community supervision on June 30, 1998, the majority (103,918) were on probation. What is the web address for information on released inmates? The address is www.dc.state.fl.us/inmatereleases/inmatesearch.asp

How can I find out more about gangs in prison?

The Florida Department of Corrections has an extraordinary amount of information about gangs both in prison and around the country on its website at www.dc.state.fl.us/security/reports/gangs/. The Security Threat Group Intelligence Unit, under the supervision of Cory Godwin, can be contacted via email at stgiu@mail.dc.state.fl.us or call them at (850) 410-4581.

My son is being harrassed in prison, and I fear for him. To whom can I report this?

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 or call them at (850) 488-9265. 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 jobsdirect.state.fl.us. The statewide vacancy system is updated within 24 hours of a vacancy being advertised, and you can submit your application online.