There are three types of Community Work Squads:
Public Works and Interagency Community Service Work Squads are authorized by F.S. 946.40. During FY 98-99, these inmate work squads performed over 4 million hours of free labor at a value of $38 million dollars (valued at $9.46 per hour*). The types of work performed 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 state forests. These work squads also assist both state and local governments in cleaning up after natural disasters, when requested.
Contracted Work Squads were initially appropriated by the 1997 Legislature and provide positions for interagency community service squads funded by state and local agencies or municipalities. During FY 98-99, FDC expanded the number of contracts to 16 and the number of work squads to 18. The total value of these contracts for the fiscal year was $735,271. Contracted Work Squads performed work similar to Public Works and Interagency Community Service Work Squads. During FY 98-99, inmates contributed more than 136 thousand hours of work valued at $1.2 million (valued at $9.46 per hour*).
The total value added/cost savings generated by DOT Work Squads, Public Work Squads, Interagency Community Service Work Squads and contracted work squads for FY 98-99 was $54.1 million. Total program costs were $24 million, resulting in net benefit to Florida taxpayers of more than $30 million.
Inmates labored more than 4.8 million hours in new construction, correction of fire safety deficiencies, and repairs and renovations during FY 98-99 on 343 ongoing construction projects throughout the department. The value of this labor is estimated at more than $48 million based on a benefited hourly wage valued at $10.07 per hour*.
*The base hourly value is determined from the Wage Summary Report for Employment Services Job Openings for FY 98-99, prepared by the Department of Labor and Employment Security, with benefits for social security, retirement, health and basic life insurance added.
Several institutions entered into agreements with their local school boards to provide Community Work Squads to work in support of local schools. Work is performed at the schools during non-business hours, holidays and weekends. The squads perform a variety of duties which include, but are not limited to: janitorial, grounds maintenance, painting, preparation and maintenance of recreational fields, installation of playground equipment, washing and waxing school buses, construction and renovation of buildings and making educational toys. These projects provide cost savings for taxpayers and, further, well-maintained school facilities and grounds contribute to developing students and staff morale.
Inmates from Loxahatchee Road Prison work on Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office vehicles while participating in the vocational program offered by the sheriff's office. The program provides training in auto body repair, mechanical and electrical repair, inventory, and parts ordering on a computerized system. This program offers marketable skill training to the inmates, a workforce to the sheriff's office, cost savings to taxpayers, and a certificate to the inmates upon completion of the training.
This work program results in money saved for governmental agencies and provides additional work opportunities for inmates in construction related areas. Completed work projects include the Hendry Wilderness Camp, Tri-County Work Camp conversion, a privacy wall to separate a juvenile justice facility from a residential community in Orlando for the Department of Juvenile Justice, the McCarty Building renovation for the Department of Management Services and Citrus County Maximum Risk Facility. The following projects are currently active: Avon Park Detention Facility and Marion Assessment Center for the Department of Juvenile Justice, and renovation of the Sebring Building for the Department of Management Services.
This organization was in need of affordable housing for employees residing in Key West and other areas in the lower Keys and needed assistance with the renovation and daily maintenance of their properties. The Big Pine Key Road Prison provides an inmate work squad that assists with renovation of the family housing units, grounds, maintenance and other daily related maintenance duties on Key West Housing Authority property and, in turn, the authority provides affordable housing units for the department's employees.
The department provides inmate labor to non-profit and charitable organizations, such as the Alachua County Food Bank, Mid-Florida Community Service, Inc., and Farmshare, Inc., that are dedicated to feeding the hungry, low income and needy individuals and families. Inmates are responsible for a variety of services related to commodity management and distribution.
Up to five inmates daily from Daytona Beach Work Release Center work for the Bureau of Braille and Talking Books Library Service. Inmates pack and unpack catalogs and rewind, sort and shelve cassette tapes at the library. Further, in accordance with standards set by the Library of Congress, inmates at Tomoka Correctional Institution read and record literature for the sight impaired. Inmates from Tomoka CI repair, clean and refurbish tape players, translate Braille onto cassette tapes, erase and recycle cassettes and repair Braille machines.
The NAT represents a partnership between the city of Tampa, THAP (Tampa Hillsborough Action Plan) Homes, Inc., and the Tampa Work Release Center. Elderly, disabled and economically depressed citizens in the community have been cited for having structurally unsound properties. These teams assist citizens by performing work to prevent these people from losing their homes due to an inability to comply with Coding Enforcement Housing Standards. Inmates assigned to this project work with skilled employees and volunteers to repair and paint homes that are deemed repairable. THAP Homes, Inc. is committed to providing employment, if available, to inmates when released from incarceration.
The N-Team represents a partnership between the city of St. Petersburg and the St. Petersburg Work Release Center.
|The Neighborhood Action Team at work in the community.|