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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Goal 1-1: To properly assess, classify and place inmates and offenders according to their risk and needs.

Key indicators in assessing progress toward Goal 1-1:

(Baselines indicated in parentheses)

  1. Percentage of inmates or offenders entering incarceration or community supervision undergoing formal standard needs assessment. (January, 1997: Offenders, 14%; Inmates, N/A)
  2. Percentage of inmates by classification. (See table at Endnotes)4
  3. Percentage of offenders supervised in the community by risk classification. (See table at Endnotes)5
  4. Average monthly active population of offenders/inmates placed in community residential facilities as a condition of confinement or supervision. (See table at Endnotes.)6

Condition Descriptions, Objectives and Strategies

Classification: General

Classification systems are the methods by which decisions as to the amount and nature of custody and/or supervision, and the placement of inmates or supervised offenders in programs are made. Inmate classification and community supervision classification have different, specific challenges, yet each are charged with ensuring public safety. Both do so by developing and improving their objective classification systems. As the expectations and requirements of the public increase, the need for a sophisticated and cross functional classification system incorporating both inmate classification and community supervision classification becomes apparent.

Inmate Classification:

Each inmate placed under the Department's custody and supervision is assessed to determine the appropriate level of security and the programs and services needed during incarceration. The magnitude of the classification process is evidenced by the fact that there are thousands of case management decisions made statewide on a daily basis.

Trends in Inmate Custody
Grades over the Last 5 years

Thumbnail of Inmate Custody Grades Chart
Chart 1-4. Click for larger view.
Chart 1-4 represents the trends in classification decisions assigning inmate custody grades over the last five years. These data are influenced by factors including time served and the availability of single cell housing. Generally, management of close custody inmates has improved through use of single cell housing. The department is developing a formal assessment process that will produce a more accurate, data-based inmate classification system. Such decisions are made in the face of legitimate, competing needs such as providing inmate labor squads to local communities, utilizing inmates to assist in maintaining facilities and grounds, and placement of inmates in a variety of programs to enhance their ability to effect a successful reintegration into society. The challenge of the classification process is to meet the expectations of competing sources for inmate placement without compromising public safety. In its totality, the classification system is designed to make the most effective use of tax dollars by ensuring that resources are used effectively, that prison life is orderly and safe, and that the chances for escape are eliminated.

Inmate Status Population:
Violent Offenders*

June 30, 1990 to June 30, 1997
Thumbnail of Inmate Status Population Chart
Chart 1-5. Click for larger view.
Chart 1-5 reflects the steady increase in violent offenders incarcerated in the Department. Violent offenders are those with a primary offense of murder, manslaughter, sexual offenses, robbery, and other violent personal offenses. The overall increase of violent offenders entering the system and remaining for longer periods of time produces challenges to classification staff in both individual decision making and in regards to the system in general. Managing the increasing number of more violent offenders could be expected to affect the placement of inmates in all settings.7 In addition to making placement decisions, the classification system is deeply involved in the management of facilities. Decisions directly affecting inmates and designed to assist in contributing to inmate and staff safety are disciplinary hearings, and the close and protective management processes. Violent offenders are not only often involved in such staff intensive activities but may have criminal histories that further restrict their options in terms of over-all placement opportunities.

Objective 1-1.1:

By December 31, 1998, at least 97% of the offenders sentenced to prison will be accurately placed in correctional institutions where security and supervision are commensurate with their assessed risk, as determined by annual escape rates, rates of assault on staff and disciplinary report rates.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table

FY 98 - 97%


  1. Arrange for the mission of each institution to be commensurate with the identified risk factors and needs of the inmate population to be housed there. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management Other Org. Unit: Community Corrections
  2. Facilitate the linkage of local criminal justice data systems and gain access to the information. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Implement an offender record imaging system at central office file room, two reception centers, and P&P circuit file room. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management; Community Corrections
  4. Implement digital fingerprint scanning at the five reception centers for identity checks with FDLE's fingerprint records. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management
  5. Reduce the institutional inmate-to-correctional probation officer caseload ratio to established standards. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management
  6. Develop and implement a client server application for an automated classification case management system in major institutions. Lead Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Unit: Executive Services

Community Supervision Classification:

Increased mitigation of sentences and plea bargaining by the courts has resulted in the increased diversion of convicted felons to community control rather than incarceration. Correspondingly, more violent offenders are placed on community supervision who require an intense level of supervision. Additional resources are necessary to provide this intense supervision, reducing risk to the community and department staff.

The department's mission of supervising offenders at a level of security commensurate with the danger they represent was reflected in the development of the Risk Classification Pilot Project in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice. This risk classification model predicts the likelihood that offenders will reoffend, technically revoke, or abscond during their term of supervision, based upon information stored in the department's management information system. The model is designed around characteristics of the offenders. The probabilities of failure such as new arrest, technical revocation, or absconding, produced by the model are utilized to determine the appropriate level of supervision for each offender. The system is implemented electronically at intake and automatically reclassifies an offender's risk level as information is added or changed in the management information database. Offenders are classified into four different risk categories based on the individual factors found to be statistically associated with supervision failure.

Statewide implementation of the Risk Classification Pilot Project ensures offenders are supervised according to their risk classification and the contact standards set for their risk level. The department's limited resources are maximized when the correctional probation officer's time is concentrated on offenders who need more supervision and direction to succeed on probation. Conducting a higher level of supervision for offenders presenting greater risk improves the protection of the community, as well as increasing cost of supervision and restitution monetary collections. The department is also afforded a method for administrators to fairly distribute the workload between probation officers and demonstrate to the Legislature the need for additional resources to properly supervise offenders commensurate with their risk level.

Objective 1-1.2:

By December, 1998,100% of offenders placed on probation or other community-supervision programs will undergo a formal risk assessment resulting in an improved case management system, as compared to the baseline rate of 14% on January 31, 1997.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table

Sep. - 1998: 77% Dec. 1998: 100%


  1. Implement a probation and parole risk assessment classification system which can be applied to 100% of offenders placed on community supervision. Lead Org. Unit: Community Corrections; Other Org. Units: Executive Services; Parole Commission
  2. Develop and implement a computerized Probation & Parole Intake and Case Supervision system. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Community Corrections; Regions

Client Management Classification for Community Control and Probation Restitution Center Offenders

The Client Management Classification System (CMC) separates offenders into five types or categories based on patterns of behavior and attitude. Trained officers conduct in-depth one on one interviews with offenders with results automatically calculated and scored via the department's offender data base. This assessment process predicts both positive and negative behavior for each supervision type. For correctional purposes, this provides a guideline from which strategies for successful supervision are developed. These strategies are implemented through a comprehensive supervision plan, offender behavior improves and successful outcomes increase.

Client Management Classification has been utilized statewide for all community controlees since 1994. Results were encouraging enough to warrant the use of the assessment on all Probation and Restitution residents since 1995, both community control and probationers. Future plans include an expansion of the program to all participants in community corrections contracted nonsecure drug treatment facilities.

Objective 1-1.3:

By July, 2003, 100% of inmates and supervised offenders will be monitored and supervised under an integrated automated management system, as compared to 0% on June 30, 1997.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table

Jul. 1997
Jul. 2000
Jul. 2001
Jul. 2002
Jul. 2003


  1. Develop an integrated Client Management Classification System for offenders on community supervision and inmates. Lead Org. Units: Community Corrections & Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Units: Executive Services
  2. Implement automated case management system statewide. Lead Org. Units: Community Corrections and Security and Institutional Management
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