The Department of Corrections has several major initiatives planned for the next year consistent with its mission.
Amend Chapter 944.31, Florida Statutes, to give the Secretary authority to designate inspectors within the Office of the Inspector General as sworn law enforcement officers. This would streamline the department's criminal investigations by not having to rely on outside law enforcement agencies, particularly in the area of making arrests.
Improve the investigative process by revising the format and mechanisms for conducting investigations to clearly provide the evidence to either substantiate or refute the allegation(s) through an increase in the use of polygraphs or voice stress analyzer technology.
Improve the review process of use-of-force actions by establishing a unit in the Central Office for reviewing all use-of-force actions and utilize stop frame technology and computer reproduction in viewing videos. Also, develop a data base for use of force, with an "early warning system" which identifies officers involved in eight or more use-of-force actions in 18 months or less.
Improve the safety and risk management function in the department by bringing institutional safety officers under the direction of the department's safety administrator, with dual supervision by wardens.
Establish an Inmate Grievance Coordinator at each institution.
Make Administrative Service Centers fully operational.
Establish an Equitable Pay Plan that will provide incentives to retain staff and reduce costly staff turnover. The department will seek legislative approval to create a new pay plan that will emphasize base-line salary rates to replace salary ranges. Incorporated into this plan will be step increases for entry-level correctional officers and correctional probation officers to ensure that the department retains trained officers.
Computerize a maintenance/preventive maintenance program at each institution and service center that will increase productivity, track work orders, reduce paperwork, and reduce equipment replacement costs.
Centralize the inmate banking and canteen operations by June 2000. Centralization will improve efficiency by eliminating the need to transfer inmate funds from institution to institution and will allow for standardization of canteen operations.
Fully implement a method of using the department's extensive data system to proactively and scientifically identify how to save money and identify problem areas. This system will save taxpayers dollars by eliminating or changing ineffective programs and improving the delivery of services.
Develop a paperless requisitioning system, with an emphasis on standardization of commodities, in conjunction with implementing the service center concept. The department will also implement the state's Purchasing Card System to maximize the efficiency of small dollar, high volume purchasing.
Reduce the labor-intensive process of filing, retrieving, and maintenance of its large volume of personnel files and attendance and leave data, further expanding the department's use of automated systems and imaging technology.
Develop a partnership with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to update the Commission-approved advanced and specialized courses to ensure more corrections-specific content.
Standardize Institutional Post Orders.
Continue to prepare for potential Y2K issues pertaining to institutional operations through the formulation of emergency response plans.
Explore, through a pilot process, the feasibility and effectiveness of installing a personal body alarm system at all institutions in the interest of staff safety.
Test the "Peep Surveillance Dome Camera" system for expanded application to assist in controlling the introduction and movement of contraband.
Develop an Officer's Handbook to include departmental rules, duties and responsibilities of staff in the correctional officer class.
Conduct a faith-based pilot program at Tomoka CI.
Train staff relating to "Working with the Female Offender" Curriculum Project.
Consolidate in-prison substance abuse program sites.
Revise the Substance Abuse Programs, Data Collection System and Intake, Screening, and Placement System.
Mandate substance abuse treatment for qualifying inmates.
Revise Operational Review standards so that only standards derived from a procedure manual checklist are audited.