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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Strategic Management Issue 2:
Increasing Productivity through Application of Continuous Quality Improvement Principles

GOAL: By June 30, 2003 improve the productivity of the department through application of continuous quality improvement techniques that reduce cycle time and/or costs determined for core processes by 10%.

Key indicators:
(Baselines indicated in parentheses)


  1. Annual retention rates for department administrative staff and representative occupational groups in the department. (For Baseline see End Note 1)
  2. Percent change in unit operating costs determined for core processes.

Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis


Competent, dedicated management and staff:

Department managers and staff in the regions and at central office are competent, conscientious and loyal. They are open to change and the advantages of technology.

Quality health care at reasonable cost:

The quality of basic health care provided to inmates is high, while the cost of the service is contained at cost effective levels.

Intellectual Capital:

The depth of the department's intellectual capital is a dynamic indicator of its ability to adapt to the rising expectations of improved public services.2 Increasingly, the department is drawing from the vast knowledge and expertise of its staff to add value to its public services.

Corrections Quality Managerial Leadership (CQML):

The department's established continuous quality improvement philosophy and infrastructure are permeating the agency's units, providing an encouraging environment for innovation and a formalized procedure for staff to improve production and services.


Vestiges of the old organizational culture:

Lingering skepticism and "buy in" of some employees, including some managers to the principles of CQML and application of Quality Management Tools.

Entrenched policies and procedures:

Organizational traditions, services and processes are based on established laws, rules, policies and procedures which are outdated, but difficult and time consuming to change.

Political Influence:

Required responses to some politically driven issues sometimes limits the making of business decisions independent of the political pressure.


Rewards for innovative cost reduction measures:

There is an opportunity to increase productivity and raise morale by awarding monetary bonuses to individuals or teams who save substantial sums through their own creative efforts. While this is currently possible through the State Awards Program, performance based program budgeting could offer more opportunities to make this possible, if permitted by the legislature.

Consolidations and affiliations in health care provision:

Opportunities exist to consolidate health care costs, thus reducing unit costs. Affiliations with medical schools at the University of South Florida, the University of Florida and University of Miami Medical School of Optometry, will lead to improved health-care programs.

Benchmarking with the private sector:

Opportunities exist to learn from the private sector in areas such as inventory reduction, warehousing in smaller facilities, spoilage control, concentration of support operations and effective staffing.

Community Linkages:

The department's links with universities through its research and planning staff offer the opportunity for expanded information resources; access to the INTERNET makes these connections easier and potentially more beneficial.

Private Correctional Institutions:

The opportunity exists to acquire an accurate cost comparison for the operation of a private institution versus the cost of a department-operated facility. The cost allocations would be inclusive, and not exclusive, of cost associated with providing custody and care and appropriate support services to a comparable close custody inmate population.

Non-Contractual Services:

The opportunity exists for the department to obtain reimbursement for services currently provided to private correctional institutions without reimbursement. The department will seek contract amendments for the reimbursement of these services.


Public Attitudes:

There appears to be a prevailing and increasing perception among the public and legislature that quality health care should not be provided to inmates. The effect of this perception is reflected in a $9 million cut from this year's legislative budget for health services.

Reduction in Legislative Appropriations:

The reduction of support services and programs resulting from decreased legislative appropriations makes it more difficult to manage an increasingly violent inmate population.

Privately Operated Facilities:

The expansion of private correctional institutions will increase the competition for limited tax dollars to operate department-operated facilities.

Condition Description, Objectives and Strategies

The department's primary aim is the application of quality management to establish the efficient and effective use of Floridians' tax dollars. As a strategic issue, productivity is the relationship between the value of a product or service and its cost. The department is focusing on quality management and human resource development as a means of improving its productivity and services. These areas are important when considered individually. Collectively, they constitute a concentration of efforts and resources of extraordinary priority. The objectives and strategies developed to achieve progress in these areas are critical to the department's success.

Correctional Quality Managerial Leadership (CQML)

Correctional Quality Managerial Leadership (CQML) is the department's quality management philosophy that empowers employees to make recommendations and give input at the lowest level, to effect change through teamwork, and improve the services and products which the department delivers. CQML is "the key to constantly improving the quality and efficiency of services and products to our stakeholders."

Traditional bureaucratic organization tends to obstruct the application of CQML. The department is working to change its traditional bureaucratic culture to a quality culture of employee participation, empowerment, trust, appropriate training and open communication.

The process of change is necessary if the department expects to achieve a quality culture. Change efforts depend on the people who drive them, and this means people must change. By increasing the effectiveness of individuals and the organization in which they work, individuals can be helped to embrace new concepts.

The responsibility of leaders/managers is to recognize and understand elements of change and create an environment to facilitate the change process.3

A vehicle of CQML is the strategic planning process which has been evolving over a five year period. During the process, each strategic issue is assessed to determine its criticality. Additionally, the content of each issue objective is reviewed to determine if it is strategic or operational.

SM Objective 2-1:
By June 30, 1999, the Department of Corrections will have in place a culture based on CQML principles which will increase productivity by 3% per year based on reduction in unit operating cost compared to June 30, 1995.


  1. Determine DC core processes. Lead Org. Units: Office of the Secretary, Inspector General's office; Other Org. Units: All assistant secretaries and regional directors
  2. Evaluate core processes and operating programs. Lead Org. Units: Office of the Secretary, Inspector General's office; Other Org. Units: All assistant secretaries
  3. Expand staff understanding of CQML. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services
  4. Benchmark internal and external processes. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: All assistant secretaries and regional directors
  5. Adopt Sterling Challenge criteria. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services.

Employee Recruitment and Retention

At present, the majority of department employees are covered by four separate collective bargaining agreements. Of these, the Florida Nurses Association (FNA) and Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA) agreements outline a pay policy designed to attract and retain employees. Most competitive employment systems have developed either a step pay plan or a minimum annual percentage increment which allows employees an increase if their job performance is satisfactory. In addition, increases are sometimes provided for merit as either a continuing cost or one-time bonus.

There are salary and other inequities among job classes within the department. For the department to maintain a competitive edge with other agencies and the private sector all entry-level salaries and benefits should be evaluated to achieve equity. Continuing pay disparities have led certain areas of the department (particularly in South Florida) to experience excessive turnover, as well as recruitment problems. In addition to the costs of turnover, many offices are operating at or below minimum staffing levels. This hinders staff effectiveness. It also means that the department is forced to pay overtime to maintain critical staffing levels.

Strategies other than those which are salary-related are needed to increase employee retention and to lower turnover. Extensive, accurate information is required on why employees voluntarily leave their employment with the department. Equally important is information on why employees remain with the department. Such information may be valuable in developing strategies to retain staff. The department is establishing more intensive recruitment and retention initiatives statewide and is going outside traditional recruitment sources to promote diversity in the work place. While primarily focusing on correctional officers, these initiatives will positively impact other job classes as well.

The Foundation for Partnerships in Correctional Excellence (DSO) includes broad based employee membership and participation. A central activity of the DSO is assistance to employees and their families through various programs and community partnerships. The department is also working with the Department of Labor and Employment Security to recruit mothers receiving Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), veterans, and the unemployed on welfare.

The department is committed to developing a quality workforce that is representative of Florida's available labor market. An environment free from discrimination and harassment that provides equal employment opportunities is important for employee morale and productivity. While significant strides have been made in the past few years, improvement in specific areas is still needed.

The department's completely revised Affirmative Action/EEO Plan has been implemented. To ensure that the plan is applied, the deputy secretary acts as AA/EEO officer to provide sufficient monitoring/enforcement. All areas where under utilization exists are addressed by the department's Affirmative Action Plan.

Currently, the utilization of minorities with the department is equal to or exceeds the available labor market, with the exception of Hispanics who are underutilized by 8 percent.

The department is committed to the goals and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The Task Force on the Americans With Disabilities Act has directed the department's full implementation of the act. Budget requests to support ADA facility modifications have been denied by the Legislature.

To ensure awareness and sensitivity to ADA issues, new employees are required to complete a prescribed course of training. Due to the pivotal role that they play in policy execution, supervisors are required to complete an annual training program.

The department continues to train its employees through the program, "Appreciating Racial, Cultural and Gender Diversity." The department also trains managers and supervisors on how to manage a racially, culturally and gender-diverse work force. Of 25,133 employees, 24,110 had completed diversity training by 1996.4

The department's unique training program, "Women Facing the Future," enhances the professional skills of women employees. The program addresses the supervision of male inmates and the challenge of working with and supervising male employees. Of its 9,816 women employees, the department had trained 4,803 women in 123 classes of "Women Facing the Future" by 1996.5

For many years the department followed a strict policy that all employees should work only full-time. No allowances were made for individual situations. If these practices continue, the department will not be able to recruit and retain a qualified work force as we approach the year 2000. Managers and supervisors must be more flexible to meet the individual needs of our future workers.

The department has developed policies on shared employment and alternative work schedules. To continue as a progressive employer, the department is examining the feasibility of other work force alternatives such as compressed work weeks, flexible work schedules, and telecommuting.

SM Objective 2-2:
Increase the annual retention rate by 10% above 1996 levels department wide and in each occupational group.


  1. Analyze reasons for employee turnover. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Administrative Services
  2. Mediate employee problems/conflicts. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services
  3. Reduce stress in work place. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management.

Quality Training via Videotape and Distance Learning Technology

The department has facilities or offices in every county of Florida. Its size and scope present a unique challenge for system-wide communication and training delivery. Employees of the department perform shift work in rural areas making education access by normal means difficult. Use of videotape and distance learning technology presents the department with a tremendous opportunity to increase the quality and efficiency of its training and communications. Tele-conferencing and its accompanying use of videotape materials has reduced travel costs as well as time away from job sites.

During Fiscal Year 1995-96, the department began implementing and utilizing distance learning technology, including satellite broadcasting and two way video-conferencing. Additionally, the Office of Health Services has contracted for satellite training programs through the Health Services Training Network.

During Fiscal Year 1995-96, twenty institutions, five P&P offices, five regional offices, four alternate regional sites at institutions and the central office were all equipped with satellite receiving dishes (downlinks), primarily to deliver inmate education and training. A secondary benefit is the use of the system for staff training. In Fiscal Year 1996-97, the department added eight new downlink sites, creating a total of 43 sites.

Additionally, the department has implemented three two-way video-conferencing locations at central office and the Region III and V offices. This technology, which allows live, face-to-face, interactive communication, can be accessed at numerous other sites statewide, including over 10 sites of the Department of Management Services.

Distance learning and tele-production facilities at the central office facilitate developing program content. Central office facilities include a television studio and electronic classroom. From these facilities, the department can produce and transmit training and educational programming for both staff and inmates.

Currently, the department is working with Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers and St. Petersburg Junior College to develop managerial in-service training and job related college credit courses for staff using distance learning technology.

With this technology in place, the department is becoming proficient in its use, and the demand for its services grows steadily. This growth will place greater demands on the department's video production and instructional design resources. Using its current resources and investing in additional distance learning resources will increase just-in-time training and improve employee productivity. In addition, the activities of the DSO will supplement available resources to assure access to quality training and educational opportunities department wide.

SM Objective 2-3:
By December 1998, increase by 50% above 1997 levels the number of employee training opportunities using distance learning via the department's CDLN network.


  1. Expand the department's distance learning network by increasing the number of downlink sites. Lead Org. Unit: Education and Job Training; Other Org Units: Executive Services.
  2. Strengthen the department's staff development training by using satellite and video-conferencing technology. Lead Org. Units: Education and Job Training; Other Org. Units:Security and Institutional Management.

Computer Training Facilities

To assure a well-trained quality work force, the department must have computer training facilities that are readily accessible to all employees. The facilities must accommodate a wide variety of specialized equipment, software and training aids so that training will be cost-beneficial for each region.

When the department implements new computer systems or changes its current systems, it must train large numbers of department staff at up to 300 sites throughout Florida; and train them in a short time span. For example, when the department implemented the Court Ordered Payment System, it trained over 3,000 employees at 170 locations with hands-on computer training.6 Each trainee received at least eight hours of training.

In some sites, the department has pre-wired conference rooms to use for computer training, but the sites have no work stations. During each entire training period, trainers must borrow work stations from employees' desks. Because their work stations are on loan, employees' productivity is severely limited during training. The difficulty of installing work stations for each training class and the need to borrow work stations results in the frequent avoidance of necessary ongoing computer training and unnecessary wear and tear on equipment. Without this needed training, employees are less productive.

Further, trainers use fewer sites because they have to set up rooms for each training. Trainees must travel long distances to get to the few training sites. Travel costs and time significantly multiply training costs. Trainees are not productive during travel time.

SM Objective 2-4:
By June 30, 2003, the department will have improved job performance by 10%.


  1. Install local area networks at major institutions, circuits and regions.
  2. Create the internal capacity to develop and deliver training through technology.


  1. Occupational Group1996 Turnover Rate
    Correctional Services Administrator (8058)17%
    Accountant II (1430)30%
    Academic Teachers (8084)15%

    Return to Note Reference

  2. Edvinson, Leif and Malone, Michael S. "Intellectual Capital," Harper Collins 1997. Return to Note Reference
  3. Waitley, Denis and Cowan, David, "Twenty First Century Leadership: The Human Side of Change", International Training and Development Associates, Spring Valley, CA 91977, 1996. Return to Note Reference
  4. J.D. Lester, Bureau of Staff Development, Department of Corrections. Return to Note Reference
  5. J.D. Lester, Bureau of Staff Development, Department of Corrections. Return to Note Reference
  6. Debbie Satterwhite, Bureau of Management Information Systems, Department of Corrections.Return to Note Reference
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