|Issue 2: Programs Contributing to Recidivism Reduction and Maximizing Offenders' Functional Skills|
GOAL: To contribute to recidivism reduction by providing programs, services and work opportunities that aid offenders to improve their societal and institutional adjustment.
The department has made significant strides in the analysis of offender programs and services needs that contribute to the reduction of recidivism. Education, transition skills, substance abuse treatment, and vocational training have proven to be major indicators that contribute to the reduction of offender recommitment rates in Florida. Collaborative prevention programs with community organizations, schools, and local and state agencies have also been instrumental in reducing the offender populations. We were awarded federal and state grants for implementing innovative and traditional programs in the areas of academic, special education, vocational/applied technology, life skills, substance abuse treatment, and transition programs. In addition, Chaplaincy Services was strong in developing community volunteer resources. With the Correctional Distance Learning Network (CDLN), we were recognized as a national leader in the use of distance learning programs and strategies to address priority academic and life skills needs of offenders and the professional development of staff.
Recognition of the ongoing need for long-term result evaluation and the continuous improvement of programs is critical to identifying the actual cost and benefits of programmatic initiatives. Too often the results and impact of program efforts are not realistically quantifiable. Reasons some effective programs are discontinued include the lack of resources and interdepartmental collaboration in assessing the incremental process and outcome results of the initiatives. It is important that each program has a strong assessment component to measure the efficiency and effectiveness of program impact on institutional safety and offender development.
Given the results of individual offender risk and needs assessments identified in Issue 1, Objective 1-1, the department will provide programs and services to meet 75% of these identified needs by June 30, 2002.
With a current base rate of work assignments for 61% for inmates available for work, the department will provide full-time work (at least 40 hours a week) for 100% of the inmates available for assignment to work by December 31, 2002.
Given the rate of 21.5% of probations revoked for technical violations, the department will reduce the rate by 5% by June 30,2001.