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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Goal 1-3: Operate safe and secure institutions and minimize disruptions in correctional facilities.

Key indicators in assessing progress toward Goal 1-3

(Baselines indicated in parentheses)

  1. Number of escapes from the secure perimeter of major institutions. (95/96: 6)
  2. Percentage of inmates who did not escape when assigned outside a secure perimeter. (96/97: 99.90)
  3. Total number of physical assaults on one or more persons per 1,000 inmates. (96/97: 1,915)
  4. Number of inmate on inmate assaults. (96/97: 1,157)
  5. Number of inmate on staff assaults. (96/97: 758)
  6. Rate of Offender vs. P&P Correctional Probation Officer Assaults. (Data pending)
  7. Number of major disciplinary reports per one thousand inmates. (95/96: 937)
  8. Number of active Security Threat Groups and members. (1995: 236 groups; 1,500 members)
  9. Compliance with accepted professional standards for security. (As determined by ACA audit and department security audit standards.)
  10. Percentage of shifts worked at critical complement (when only the most essential posts are covered). (Data pending)
  11. Percentage of inmate random drug tests that are negative. (95/96: 97.0%)


Condition Descriptions, Objectives and Strategies

Control of Disruptive Inmates and Protection of Staff

Due to the changes in sentencing policies and the increasing use of diversionary programs for nonviolent offenders the inmate profile will continue to reflect a growing ratio of violent and disruptive inmates.

Disruptive inmates create disharmony among the total inmate population, and disturb prison life.8 An indication of the more violent prison environment is the increase in assault rates. Assault figures show higher rates, as well as an inexorable trend toward higher numbers due to the increased inmate population.

The incidence of assaults and felony crimes committed by offenders while incarcerated must be controlled. The Office of the Inspector General investigates all incidents involving inmate on inmate and inmate on staff assaults. The department will monitor the rate of such assaults based on the average inmate population (the beginning year population plus end year population divided by two equals the average inmate population).

To make the prison environment safer for inmates and staff and more conducive to work, job training and treatment, violent and disruptive inmates must be placed in prisons having higher levels of security and control of inmate movement and behavior. An integral part of prison management is the capacity for using single cell housing for violent and disruptive inmates. To accurately determine the extent of such housing, the department must establish and maintain an effective ratio of single cell to dormitory housing. Proper housing of the prison population should produce a positive impact on the effectiveness of work, job training, and treatment programs, while at the same time limiting aggressive behavior among violent and disruptive inmates.

Objective 1-3.1

By July 1, 1999 and annually thereafter, the per capita rate of inmate on inmate assaults will be maintained at or below the baseline rate of 29.2 per 1,000 inmates established for FY 1994-95.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table
Determined Annually

Objective 1-3.2

By July 1, 1999, the per capita rate of inmate on staff assaults will be reduced to 15.0 per 1,000 inmates from the baseline rate of 18.7 per 1,000 inmates established for FY 1994-95.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table
Dec. 98: 17.5/1000 Jul. 99: 15/1000

Strategies:

  1. Identify and appropriately classify inmates likely to precipitate or be involved in criminal conduct. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Units: Executive Services and Inspector General
  2. Reduce the amount of contraband in department facilities. Lead Org. Unit: Inspector General; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management, Community Corrections
  3. Design and implement systems which will allow tracking and analysis of inmate contact, with persons outside the institutions. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Units: Executive Services
  4. Develop system to identify and track inmates whose behavior results in felony prosecution. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  5. Identify and appropriately house inmates who participate in assaultive, violent, or disruptive behavior. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Improved Institutional Security:

Total Inmate Escapes from DC
Custody Over 10 Fiscal Years

Thumbnail of Total Inmate Escapes Chart
Chart 1-6. Click for larger view.
It is essential to public safety to eliminate escapes. Many of the facilities originally designed and built to house lower-security inmates are now housing higher-security inmates because of the changing population, adjustments to institutional missions, and changes in public policy. The department has improved security perimeters at most facilities during the past year. Further enhancements to facility security and control systems are required to meet the myriad challenges to institutional security. Chart 1-6 indicates the total number of escapes from department custody has declined to its lowest level for the last six years. During FY 96-97 there were nine escapes from major institutions.9

Growth in Close Management and
Other Confinement/Protective
Management Populations, 1993-1996

Thumbnail of Growth in Close Management Chart
Chart 1-7. Click for larger view.
The trend toward higher security levels in the custody classification profile of the inmate population is illustrated in Chart 1-7.10 As this chart indicates, population in these classifications continue to rise, increasing the need for security and special housing considerations. Close custody is a classification designation used to determine the external supervision requirements of inmates and indicates that inmates so classified require increased supervision from that of medium and minimum custody inmates. Close management is a temporary status applied to inmates whose behavior inside prison warrants more security than afforded in the general inmate population, to include single cell housing.

Growth of Total Confinement Population
and Open Population Inmates
Similar to Those in Close Management
in Florida's Prisons, June 1993 to April 1996

Thumbnail of Growth of Total Confinement Population Chart
Chart 1-8. Click for larger view.
Chart 1-8 depicts the growth in the violent and disruptive inmate population, which has risen overall by 52.2% since 1993 to more than 14,600 inmates or roughly 22% of the total inmate population. This subpopulation includes 5,465 inmates currently in close management, other confinement, or protective management status. This subpopulation has increased 63.2% over the period. Also included are inmates whose behavioral history and other characteristics are similar to about 80% of the most serious inmates in close management. An estimated 9,151 such inmates are currently not in special management housing, a 46.3% increase from 1993. Despite adding housing for 2,117 more special management inmates, the percentage of all violent and disruptive inmates in more secure housing has risen only slightly from 34.9% in 1993 to 37.4% in 1996.11

The security capability at all major institutions was enhanced during 1996-97. Presently, efforts to upgrade facilities continue with emphasis on adding razor wire, replacement of locks, perimeter security systems, communications and lighting. Additionally, some of the older institutions are being improved by replacing old housing units with more secure, single cell housing units. The new prototype designs have significantly increased safety and improved the overall physical security.

A standardized staffing formula based on the mission of the institution or facility and established national standards is essential for adequate security. Community residential facilities currently, have a relief staffing factor (staff required for 24 hours, 7 days per week operation) of .573 as compared with the department's institutions, which are staffed at a .660 relief factor. Efforts to bring community correctional facility staffing to a parity with institutional staffing are underway. If the mission of an institution or facility changes, a standardized staffing package must be factored into the cost estimates to meet the new mission requirements.

Problems in security coverage are aggravated by requirements to transport inmates between the department's facilities, to outside work squads, for medical treatment, or to court. A count conducted in June 30, 1995 showed that a total of 118,813 in-mates transferred into DC facilities during the year. The number of transfers continues to increase and the possibility of an incident or security problem is heightened by the large numbers to be moved and the increased number of violent inmates. A data base is being developed to determine trends in inmate transfer activity.

The system wide problem of increasing populations without commensurate staff increases is amplified as the number of locations designed as higher security areas increases.

Objective 1-3.3:

By July 1, 1999, the annual fiscal year escape rate from major institutions will be reduced from the FY 1993-94 rate of 1.3 per 1,000 to zero.

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table
FY 97/98: 0

Strategies:

  1. Identify and track, and appropriately house inmates who have exhibited potential for escape attempts. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Units: Inspector General
  2. Investigate, test and implement physical security innovations that will upgrade physical security at institutions. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Implement offender check-in and check-out systems in each of the community facilities and work camps. Lead Org. Unit: Executive Services; Other Org. Units: Security and Management, Regions
  4. Design and implement a system to monitor electronically the movement and location of inmates through the compound. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management; Other Org. Units: Executive Services; Regions

Management of Security Threat Groups (STG)

The level of violence associated with gang crimes is increasing in our communities. Many experts note that membership in these groups appears to prolong the extent and seriousness of an individual's criminal career. In August 1995, an assessment of gang activity in Florida was conducted by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, resulting in 304 gangs with 10,136 members and associates being reported. As a result of increased attention by law enforcement to the "gang element" of crime, many of the leaders and members of these groups are entering the prison and community supervision populations.

Percent of Population with
One or More DRs
in the Past 24 Months

Thumbnail of Chart (Percent of Population with One or More DRs in the past 24 months)
Chart 1-9. Click for larger view.
Many of these STG groups originated in prison in response to geographic, ethnic, racial, or ideological influences, and as they grew they evolved to include both institutional and community components. The Security Threat Group (STG) Management Program was created to meet the challenge of gangs in prison. The department follows a "No Tolerance" approach to gang (STG) involvement and activity. The concept of Corrections being seen as a source of criminal intelligence is a new approach to gang suppression initiatives. The Security Threat Group Intelligence Unit (STGIU), formed in April, 1997, collects, analyzes and disseminates criminal intelligence related to STG and their members to other criminal justice agencies and local communities. The STGIU strategic plan calls for a five year implementation schedule. Initially, the STGIU will identify STGs and their members. By the fifth year, specific management strategies will counter the disruption attributed to STGs. The department has identified over 300 gangs in correctional institutions. Approximately 1,500 members and suspected members of these gangs are identified in the department's offender data base. Chart 1-9 describes the difference between gang members and non-gang members in accumulating disciplinary reports (DR's) in prison. The wide disparity between the two groups illustrates that members of gangs receive more DR's for disruptive behavior than non-gang inmates. Efforts are currently underway to share information gathered by institutional personnel with community supervision staff. Community supervision staff will update information available through contacts in the community.

Objective 1-3.4:

By June 30, 2003, reduce the number of incidents of disruption created by STG/gang members in prison. (The baseline will be established with 1997-98 data.)

(Custody and Control Program)

Projection Table
Pending baseline establishment.

Strategies:

  1. Gather complete information to assess identified Security Threat Groups and determine their level of activity and threat to the security of the public, staff, and inmates. Lead Org. Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Integrate Security Threat Group information into the risk assessment instruments used by institutional classification and Community Corrections. Lead Org. Unit: Community Corrections; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Develop specialized training programs with established proactive measures for field and support staff having contact with members of Security Threat Groups. Lead Org. Unit: Community Corrections; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management, Executive Services
  4. Develop an intensive supervision program to accompany community treatment services provided to offenders who are members of Security Threat Groups. Lead Org. Unit: Community Corrections; Other Org. Units: Security and Institutional Management Executive Services