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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 - 4: To provide sufficient numbers of qualified correctional and probation staff to achieve effective and efficient custody and supervision of sentenced offenders.

Key indicators of progress toward Goal 1 - 4

(Baselines indicated in parentheses)

  1. Status of entry level correctional officers:
    1. Percentage with less than three years correctional officer experience, (compared to the total number of entry level correctional officers). (11/7/97: 57.7%)
    2. Percentage of correctional officers in training status (11/7/97: 8.7%)

  2. Annual retention rates of department staff and representative occupational groups in the department. (For baseline see End Note 12)

Condition Descriptions, Objectives and Strategies

Employee Recruitment and Retention

Complementary to the need to recruit is the need to retain existing staff. After a steady decline over several years staff turnover rates started to rise again in 1993. The rise was partly caused by local governments increasing their salaries faster than the state. Also, the steady improvement in the economy is providing more jobs in the private sector. The inherently stressful and dangerous nature of the job undoubtedly discourages many potential employees from even applying. These conditions require the department to remain competitive in employment opportunities. Chart 1-10 and Table 1-1 illustrate the trend in staff turnover rates and differences in compensation between state and local government correctional officers.13

Turnover by Calendar Year
Thumbnail of Chart (Turnover by Calendar Year)
Chart 1-10. Click for larger view.
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.

Regarding salaries, an inequity continues between the entry-level correctional officer and law enforcement officer. Table 1-1 compares DC entry level salaries with those of a broad sample of other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, there are salary and other inequities among other 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.14

These 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 institutions and offices are operating at or below minimum staffing levels. This can endanger not only the safety of the public,staff and offenders, but also can inhibit staff effectiveness. The situation also forces the department to pay overtime to maintain critical staffing levels.

More inmates incarcerated for serious offenses and remaining housed in correctional institutions longer periods of time accentuates job stress affecting the staff who work there. Providing programs and resources to alleviate the effects of the dangerous and demanding work environment is an important factor in ensuring safety for correctional officers and the public, as well as being important to employee recruitment and retention. In this regard, a central activity of the Foundation for Partnerships in Correctional Excellence (DSO) is assistance to employees and their families through support of various and community partnerships.

Table 1-1

Salary Survey
Sheriff's Offices and Selected Cities

Position Title: Corrections Officer

Sheriff's Office Minimum Salary
Maximum Salary
Hillsborough 25,596 38,394
Broward 25,460 35,797
Polk 24,775 34,685
Leon 23,200 33,200
Pasco 22,652 33,614
Brevard 22,297 31,033
Clay 21,921 30,928
Seminole 22,510 37,803
Osceola 21,507 31,138
Highlands 21,398 28,886
Pinellas 21,244 36,787
St. Lucie 21,176 31,763
Lake 21,165 32,000
Duval 21,144 32,796
Charlotte 21,080 41,580
Manatee 20,101 34,613
Hendry 20,046 23,500
Columbia 20,000  
Glades 19,800 20,372
Marion 19,755 30,778
Desoto 19,282  
Flagler 19,247 38,119
Volusia 19,159 28,709
Sarasota 19,000 37,500
Dept. of Corrections 18,108 29,075
Lafayette 17,000 29,075
Levy 16,716 21,810
Franklin 15,538 29,000
Hamilton 15,300 22,000
Baker 14,560 20,000
Liberty 14,400  

Objective 1 - 4.1:

Increase the annual retention rate by 10% above 1996 levels department wide and in each occupational group.

(Custody and Control, Administration Programs)

Projection Table


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