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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Issue 1: Ensuring Public Safety by Effective Custody and Supervision of Offenders

GOAL: To ensure the safety of the public through an effective system of risk assessment, security and supervision within the limits of department authority and responsibility.

Progress Achieved

During the past year, the department continued its effort toward ensuring public safety by reducing escapes to .15 per 1,000 inmates while maintaining a safer and more humane environment for staff and inmates. This was achieved through increased safety measures being implemented that enhanced both external and internal security systems. The external measures provided improved detection systems on the perimeter of the institution, as well as, at the entrances. Internal security measures included the acquisition of secure cell housing to more effectively separate the aggressive violent inmate from the rest of the general population. Further, we enhanced our efforts to reduce contraband and drug usage that impacts on safety and security for public, staff, and inmate alike. The risk assessment model for community corrections was automated statewide and eight circuits have been trained and operationalized. The past year has seen a huge emphasis toward meeting the objectives of Issue 1 by ensuring public safety through implementing effective security, custody and supervision measures.

Objective 1-1:

By December 31, 1998, 97% of the offenders sentenced to prison will undergo a formal risk and needs assessment to ensure proper identification for placement in the jobs, programs, and/or supervision commensurate with their needs.

Performance Assessment
  • The risk and needs system is currently undergoing pilot testing at several facilities. The prioritization rank for placing inmates in programs was incorporated in the automated system. Fine tuning the criteria remains to be done.

  • Upon complete implementation of the risk and needs system, a comprehensive assessment of all facilities can be conducted using the risk and needs data as a baseline. This effort will ensure the mission of each institution is commensurate with the risk/needs factors of the inmate population; completion is expected in 1999.

  • As part of the risk and needs system development, we are exploring the merits of an Inmate Disruption Index (INDI) to assist in categorizing disruptive inmates. This disruption index is still in development, but there are promising preliminary indications of its value in identifying both current and potential inmates who pose security management problems.

  • The Integrated Assessment and Placement System (IAPS) will incorporate risk and needs features with the revised custody system in 1999 to form the bulk of the revisions necessary to complete the IAPS. Additional automation projects-transition, progress reports, work/program assignments will round out the components necessary to complete IAPS.

  • There was success in linking with local criminal justice data base systems. The department was very successful in providing inmate and offender data through the Internet, Intranet, and Extranet platforms to the public and criminal justice agencies.

  • We support criminal justice links to 37 counties, 10 of which are large mainframe counties and provide reciprocal information sharing using IBM's SNA protocol. There is a representative on the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information System Council with a goal of networking Florida's criminal justice entities using the TCP/IP protocol. We have established two active links to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) . One link is to send inmate pictures to FDLE and the other provides access to FDLE information for 1,500 department users. The federal Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) provides access at the national INS database to us via a dial-up connection. INS also has network access to our data at 5 sites. We also have a reciprocal connection with the Florida Department of Labor and Employment Security.

  • We continue to request legislative funding to reduce a difficult to manage 112:1 institutional inmate to correctional probation officer caseload ratio.

  • Contraband reduction is a continuous process. From July 1, 1997 - June 30, 1998, the number of incidents of alcohol located on the compounds of our institutions dropped from 345 to 60.

  • The number of weapons confiscated increased from 294 to 342.

  • During FY 97-98, we purchased a second drug detection system to be used in contraband interdiction operations. Operations are now conducted simultaneously at different locations. During these unannounced operations employees, visitors, inmates, vehicles and DC grounds/buildings are subjected to search by the drug detection system, a correctional officer search team, and/or canine. These searches target not only drugs, but weapons, alcohol and contraband cash. In addition, the facility's contraband control procedures are reviewed for effectiveness. Interdiction operations resulted in the arrest of 36 individuals and the confiscation of a significant amount of drugs and contraband.

  • We also increased staff awareness of contraband control by mandating that at least 25% of all staff be searched upon arrival for duty each calendar quarter. It is also mandated that at least 25% of all inmates be searched monthly. These efforts have resulted in a 28% decrease in contraband related incidents reported over the previous fiscal year; 4785 in FY 96-97, 3472 in FY 97-98.

Objective 1-2:

By July 1, 1998, the annual fiscal year escape rate from major institutions will be reduced from the FY 1993-94 rate of 13 per 1,000 to zero.

Performance Assessment

  • The annual escape rate from major institutions for FY 97-98 is .15 per 1,000 inmates. Implementation of risk and needs assessment and the custody assessment and reclassification system will provide detailed information and accountability to objectively assess improvements to our classification system.

  • Escape history criteria (most valued in predicting potential escapees) was incorporated into the custody and internal management factors of the risk and needs system. This provides a means to address placing the inmate in a secure facility and managing the inmate within the facility.

  • The Office of Security and Institutional Management, Bureau of Security Operations, implemented these security innovations/enhancements:

    • Alternative safe dental floss to replace the existing spooled dental floss.
    • Clear searchable hygiene products to reduce contraband concealment.
    • Electronic immobilization belts for high security escorts.
    • Initiated training and research for future application of the Incident Management System.
    • Monitored pilot programs in anticipation of implementation of the personal body alarm system.
    • Monitored pilot programs for Iris Scan and hand verification identification systems.
    • Developed non-contact visitation initiatives.
    • Approved flash bang distraction devices for tactical applications.
    • Reviewed and evaluated non-lethal force alternatives, i.e. bean bag projectiles and rubber bullets.
    • Issued pagers to institutional emergency response team members.
    • Procured Heinemann x-ray machines for each Region to enhance contraband discovery.
    • Continued implementation of the 800MHz radio system.
    • Authorized purchase of a lighter, more comfortable body-armor. This new armor has a 10 year warranty vice the existing 5 year warranty.
    • Completed the installation of Micro-Phonics detection systems at all 55 institutions.
    • Continued implementation of Microwave perimeter detection system, with a total of 29 institutions currently having this system in place or the funds appropriated for purchase.

  • A total of 28 announced and 30 unannounced comprehensive security audits of state and private correctional institutions were conducted.

Objective 1-3:

By July 1, 1998, the per capita rate of crimes against persons committed by offenders in prison will be reduced by 20% from the, baseline rate of 60 per 1,000 inmates established for FY 1994-95.

Performance Assessment
  • This objective was found not to be meaningful and difficult to collect data on. The objective was changed to track the rates of inmate on inmate and inmate on staff assaults in the 1998-2003 Agency Strategic Plan.

  • A key part of the risk and needs system, the Inmate Disruption Index (INDI), is being developed to provide a tool to assist in the identification of inmates likely to be involved in criminal conduct. The INDI is still in the developmental stage but hopefully will be incorporated into risk and needs by 1999.

  • As part of Contraband Interdiction, the frequent use of metal detection devices (hand-held and/or walk through) at inmate work sites, vehicle gates, and manned gates at interior cross fences, combined with increased use of clothed/strip body searches for inmate work squads, working outside the secure perimeter, has resulted in increased detection of weapons, drugs, and alcoholic beverages.

  • Non-contact visiting facilities are being piloted to reduce the introduction of contraband.

  • The automated gain time system was enhanced to identify inmates convicted of crimes while incarcerated. These inmates are not eligible to earn gain time for a six-month period following conviction. The Risk & Needs instrument, being piloted at 6 sites, is scheduled for statewide implementation in October 1998. This instrument provides an assessment of the inmate's internal management risk and indicates what internal controls are necessary to effectively manage the inmate. A portion of the assessment will also identify and track inmates who have committed violent crimes while incarcerated.

  • In 1997, we approved the design of a new prototype institution and secure housing unit. It provides for an increased level of security and control over inmates. In addition, the new compound and secure housing units are designed to reduce construction and operating costs. The new secure housing units are designed to have 118 single cells which can house up to 234; each cell has a cell grade sliding door, security stainless steel toilet and security light fixture. Currently construction is under way for an Annex to Columbia CI and planning is underway for the Franklin CI using this new design.

  • The Bureau Chief ofSecurity Operations and Bureau of Design and Construction representatives toured federal and state "Super Max" facilities in Colorado and Arizona . Preliminary plans were discussed and conceptualized for constructing a similar facility in Florida. Funds for planning, site-work, and utilities are requested in FY99-00 and funds for construction in 00-01. In addition, construction is underway to convert Florida State Prison to such a facility.

Objective 1-4:

By January 1, 2000, increase the percentage of single-cell housing commensurate with the percentage of violent and disruptive inmates as determined annually.

Performance Assessment

  • In 1998-99 funding was appropriated for construction of ten new secure housing units to replace older, less secure open bay dormitories. In addition, funding for the site work and utilities for the Franklin Correctional Institution were obtained. Our Five-Year Plan starting in 1999-00 requests additional secure housing units, new institutions, and annexes to meet the increased need for single cell housing. Institutions and annexes are designed to house approximately 80% of the inmates in single cells (most cells will have two inmates each).

  • The Bureau of Research and Data Analysis in conjunction with the Offices of Security and Institutional Management and Administration have the capability, and will continue to forecast the impact of changes in sentencing policy so sufficient secure housing can be justified.

    • Development of the Inmate Disruption Index (INDI) will build on previous and current research to identify objective factors from readily available data that correlate with future disruptive behavior by inmates and to create a practical instrument for measuring the disruptive risk inmates pose in the prison system.

    • All available factors significantly related to disruptive behavior, demographic characteristics, prison system responses to disruptive behavior, and sentencing characteristics are valid predictors of future disruptive behavior which will be used to construct a scale rating disruptive propensity for inmates with maximal predictive value.

    • The disruptive propensity scale will be used to evaluate housing of inmates by type (i.e., dormitory, cell, or confinement) in order to measure the effect of housing types on future disruptive behavior. To the extent that type of housing reduces future disruptive behavior from predicted levels, the scale will be used to assess the total inmate population to estimate the demand for additional housing types (e.g., single cell and confinement beds) required to minimize disruptive inmate behavior.

    • If possible, staff will also assess the type, length, and reason for confinement to estimate the optimal uses of confinement to effectively and efficiently reducing disruptive behavior. Development of a methodology to forecast numbers of violent and disruptive inmates is ongoing.

Objective 1-5:

By July 1998, all security components of the department's facilities meet or exceed accepted professional standards for security based physical security and mission requirements of the facilities.

Performance Assessment
  • In concert with the Bureau of Design and Construction, prototype plans were developed for new and existing institutions. Additionally, statewide perimeter lighting and security/detection system standards were implemented. Funding was requested to address noted deficiencies. Staffing was redistributed to necessary posts inside facilities due to utilizing technologically advanced perimeter detection systems.

  • Since its inception in December 1995, the Security Audit Team has conducted a total of 80 unannounced security audits. With the security consultants becoming the team leaders for the security component of the Management Review process in July 1997, an additional 30 unannounced audits were also conducted, resulting in consistency and improved security at all state and private institutions.

  • The Roster Management System (RMS) will implement an automated security staff utilization system. RMS supports the effective use of staff by preparing staff assignments based on the availability of experienced staff in specific time periods. The analysis and design for RMS was completed by OIT Systems Development working with the Bureau of Security Operations. Staff from Central Office is conducting the training of field staff at ten locations statewide. The RMS was successfully piloted at 2 institutions and funding was provided for implementation at 20 additional institutions.

Objective 1-6:

By December 1997, 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 6% on June 30, 1996.

Performance Assessment
  • The development of a probation and parole risk assessment system that is applied to 100% of offenders was completed. Office of Information Technology has been supporting the implementation and operation of the system as Probation and Parole phases the new calculation method into all 20 circuits. Eight of 20 Circuits have received training so that staff in these circuits can use it. Completion is planned by June 1999.

  • In Region I Community Corrections, Circuits 1 and 14 have implemented the Automated Risk Classification System. It is important to note that these circuits supervised approximately 75% of our supervised population in our region. Circuit 02 is slated to receive this training from Central Office Division of Community Corrections in the near future.

Objective 1-7:

By December 1997, maintain the number of probationers and community controlees returned to prison for technical violations of community supervision at a level 15% or more below the FY 1993-94 percentages of 47% (Community Control) and 21.4% (Probation).

Performance Assessment
  • Sex offender probation was enacted last year by the legislature. This requires a smaller caseload and more contacts to reduce the chance of violations.

  • The Automated Risk Class System is operational in 8 circuits. It is designed to ensure that the riskiest offenders are supervised the closest.

  • During last legislative session, 94 positions were received for use for close risk supervision. However, the legislature did not fully fund all of the requested needed positions.

  • Funding has been received to enhance circuit and region-based diversion centers for nonviolent supervised offenders over several years for many diversion programs instead of prison terms. These programs include secure and non-secure drug treatment, as well as probation and restitution centers. Residential diversion centers are located in every circuit.

  • Funding for enhanced post-prison released supervision has been received for: Transition, Inc.; Broward County Re-entry; Dade Jobs; Hart Program; COSA Grant; One Stop Program. These are all transition programs that work in partnership.

  • A Transitional Needs Assessment is completed on all inmates being released from Community Correctional Centers. Based on the needs identified during this assessment, center staff provide the inmate with agency names, addresses, phone numbers, and contact persons for those agencies which can provide post release assistance. For certain referrals, such as Job Services of Florida, center staff can assist the inmate in setting up an appointment. Inmates being released to certain counties, such as Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, or Duval are referred to the One Stop Transitional Centers with whom we contracted with to provide post-prison release assistance. For those inmates identified as special education inmates, the center Correctional Probation Officer coordinates post-prison release educational services with our Special Educational Coordinator. Together they will establish a post prison educational plan for the inmate utilizing available community resources in the community in which the inmate will reside.

  • A contract for a satellite tracking system has been in place for 2 years. Offenders are being tracked in two circuits.

  • Mental health treatment is available through community based programs in most circuits. Many community residential substance abuse treatment programs are staffed with mental health counselors. A special program is available in the community to treat the dually diagnosed offender located at Florida Center for Dual Disorders in the city of Avon Park. Also, the dually diagnosed offender that is referred by the court can receive treatment at the Reality House located in Daytona Beach.

Objective 1-8:

By June 1998, the rate of offenders having received drug abuse treatment who are not returned to custody or supervision for drug offenses within 24 months will increase to 80% from the 1995 baseline rate of 74%.

Performance Assessment
  • Last year a 10% reduction across the board was made in the number of beds available, due to funding issues. This year the cutback to rehabilitative programs for drug offenders was rescinded and some programs increased A new non-traditional work program is available at the Agape women's program.

  • Region 1 intermediate sanctions include the 40 bed Pensacola Probation and Restitution Center (PRC) and the 30 bed Tallahassee PRC. Programming at the PRCs is designed for offenders who have unstable residence and employment problems and moderate drug/alcohol involvement. The department helps fund (Fiscal Year 1997/98 was $90,000) and supervises offenders placed in the Escambia and Bay County Drug Courts in Pensacola and Panama City, Florida. These drug treatment programs are long-term treatment programs designed for moderately drug-involved offenders. Three (3) non-secure residential treatment programs are maintained in the Region, providing for a total of 160 beds for seriously drug-involved non-violent offenders.

  • The development of day treatment programs for offenders to afford the opportunities to become drug free, find gainful employment and pay restitution to victims was considered in all circuits and adopted in 6. Some judges do not see the need for such a program.

  • In Region 1, the day treatment programs, as originally designed, were replaced with intensive outpatient drug-treatment programming as part of our outpatient drug treatment contracted services. This intensive outpatient design allows the treatment provider to see the offender more than once per week, allows the offender the ability to receive a level of treatment appropriate to their needs, and at the same time keep their jobs and families in tact.

  • A Tier 1 (Relapse Intervention) drug treatment program specifically designed for youthful offenders is in place.

  • The Region 5 Bradenton Drug Treatment Community Program is an excellent program for youthful offenders with serious drug problems and is eighteen months long in duration. Phase I is a six-month intensive residential component with continuous counseling. Phase II is a six-month residential employment re-entry component located at Operation PAR in Largo. Phase III is a six-month intensive community after-care component for offenders between the ages of 16-24 that have successfully completed the yearlong residential treatment. The Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance selected the Bradenton Drug Treatment Center Program as a national model. It serves (5) judicial circuits and 14 counties of southwest Florida. During the last18-months 364 offenders were provided services in this program and 60 offenders completed all phases and graduated.

  • In Region 5, the Tier (Relapse Intervention) Program at the Hillsborough and Tampa Community Correctional Centers provides individual case management drug treatment plans for each individual inmate, which includes all youthful offender inmates. The youthful offender inmate is the primary target for the smoke cessation program through Tier V.

  • All inmates at Pinellas Community Correctional Center (Region 5), who are court ordered for drug treatment, are placed in the in-house Tier Drug Program that is administered by PAR Drug Program. Additionally, any offender who has a drug charge is placed into the program. The offender also attends in-house AA groups. There has only been one positive drug screen from July 1, 1997 to July 1, 1998, and this inmate escaped, but was recaptured in April 1998.

  • During the period January 1997 through June 1998, (155) inmates were cited to attend and completed the Tier V Drug Treatment Program at the St. Petersburg Community Correctional Center (Region 5). This program targets the inmate's need for aftercare as most have had Tier I, Tier II and Tier III Programs before coming to Community Corrections.

  • During the period January 1997 through June 1998, 90 inmates were enrolled and participated in the Tier V Drug Treatment Program at the Tarpon Springs Community Correctional Center(Region 5). A percentage of which were youthful offenders.

  • On the Institutional side in Region 5, Hillsborough C.I. is a youthful offender facility which has a Tier IV therapeutic community drug treatment program. This program is a 12 month full-time residential drug treatment program which was not specifically designed for the youthful offender population but is our standard Tier IV therapeutic community program. As a residential program, the case management model is not used.

  • These transitional substances abuse aftercare programs for inmates released to community supervision are available: Transitions, Inc.; Broward Retry; Dade Jobs; Hart Program; COSA Grant; One-Stop Programs.

  • In Region 1, Outpatient substance abuse services are provided for all offenders under community supervision. All inmates released from Region I Community Correctional Centers who have participated in the Tier V Program are provided with the location and address for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotic Anonymous meetings in the community in which they will be residing upon release. In addition, all inmates released to community supervision are advised to report to the appropriate Probation and Parole Office within 72 hours of release in order to begin complying with the terms of their post-release supervision which may include substance abuse treatment programs. The probation officer assigned to the inmate's case will direct the offender to the most appropriate substance abuse program in that area.

Objective 1-9:

By July 1999, identify all Security Threat Groups and their members that are active in the department.

Performance Assessment
  • The gathering of complete information on Security Threat Groups is an on going process. Approximately 320 Security Threat Groups/Gangs were identified.

  • Over 1600 inmates currently housed in department facilities were identified as members of STG's. This accounts for 2.0% of the inmate population and 4.55% of all reported incidents of disruptive inmates. Figures for Community Supervision offenders are not yet available.
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