During the 1999 Legislative Session, Secretary Moore explained his goal to establish a business-oriented culture for the agency. The resultant legislation enhanced the Secretary's ability to organize and manage the department's resources more efficiently and provided more flexibility to respond to changing needs of the department, while maintaining an effective programmatic structure. Consistent with the Governor's philosophy, the department's organizational structure was streamlined to eliminate duplication, increase efficiency and utilization of resources, and improve accountability of managers and administrators. The bill defined program responsibilities focusing on Security and Institutional Operations, Health Services, Community Corrections, Administrative Services, and Program Services. Service Centers were established to centralize the management of personnel, administration, and budget functions. Regional structures were maintained for the delivery of programs and operations for community corrections and institutions. Standardized policies and procedures are being developed to ensure consistency. Highlights of the reorganization bill include:
The 1999 Legislature appropriated a total budget of almost $1.7 billion for the Department of Corrections (DC), which included the following:
Effective October 1, 1999, funds were provided in the 1999-2000 General Appropriations Act to increase the base rate of pay for eligible career service employees, including correctional officers, correctional probation officers, Select Exempt Service and Senior Management Service as follows:
Sexual Violent Predators
In 1998, the Legislature enacted the Jimmy Ryce Bill. This legislation provided for the civil commitment and treatment of sexually violent predators after the expiration of their sentences and release from incarceration.
The first year of implementation provided insight into several specifications and the legislation was amended in 1999 with these additional requirements:
Provides that a law enforcement officer or correctional officer will not be civilly or criminally liable for the good-faith use of any less-lethal munition. The term is defined as a projectile which is designed to stun, temporarily incapacitate, or cause temporary discomfort without penetrating the person's body. This allows officers to conduct cell extractions (within the bounds of department policy) without fearing criminal or civil penalties.
Governor's Anti-Crime Legislation * 10-20-LIFE
Proposed by the Governor as the centerpiece of his tough anti-crime package, this legislation creates mandatory minimum sentences for possession, discharge, or injury when a firearm is used during the commission of a felony. The intent of the legislation focused on deterrence. The new law provides that when an individual is in possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony he or she shall receive a minimum sentence of ten years in prison. Any individual discharging a firearm during the commission of a felony will receive a minimum sentence of 20 years. If an individual is killed or seriously injured by a firearm during the commission of a felony then the perpetrator will receive a mandatory sentence of 25 years to life.
The Executive Office of the Governor and the Department of Corrections are working jointly to ensure that the public is educated as to the provisions of this act. High crime areas were targeted for print advertisements and billboards. Secretary Moore volunteered $500,000 from the department's 1998-99 budget, and was appropriated an additional $500,000 for the current fiscal year, to assist in the advertising campaign in hopes of deterring young people from possessing or using a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Three Strikes For Violent Felony Convictions
Provides that upon an offender's third violent felony conviction he or she shall receive a minimum mandatory sentence of life in prison. This legislation impacts those individuals who are violent career criminals and will keep violent repeat offenders out of Florida's communities and deter those who have been given a second chance from re-entering the system.