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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Goal 2-1: Maximize correctional cost-savings and cost-avoidance for state taxpayers.

Trends And Conditions Analysis (TCA)

Essential to establishing responsible work habits are meaningful inmate work assignments and work experiences. The results of these work assignments and experiences reduce institutional operational costs thereby reducing incarceration expenses to Florida citizens. Developing responsible work habits, reducing incarceration costs through maximizing inmate labor utilization, and thereby, reducing inmate idleness are priorities of the department.

Because of resource constraints, there are more inmates available for work assignments than there is available work. The primary and secondary reasons are a lack of correctional officer staff to supervise inmates working and an insufficient number of work opportunities. This results in the department over-assigning inmates to some work areas in order to comply with Section 946.002, Florida Statutes, when fewer inmates could actually perform the work. Over-assigning inmates has both a positive and negative side. On the negative, the over-assigning inmates to work areas may decrease the assignment's productivity; on the positive is assigning all inmates available for work allows them to be productive. The results are increased discipline and control, reduced idleness, thus diminished tension in the institutions.

The department maximizes the utilization of inmate labor within available resources whenever and wherever possible. Expanding available work opportunities for inmates eligible for assignment increases cost-savings and cost-avoidance benefits. Each institution provides work opportunities for inmates in support of facility operation and for the most part these work assignments are standard from one institution to the next. Additionally, PRIDE and Prison Industry Enhancement (PIE) programs provide work opportunities for inmates, as does the department's community work squad program.

In January 1996, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (OPPAGA) published a report identifying a need for 19,858 additional full-time inmate work assignments. This report provided for full-time work for all available inmates (excluding program assignments like academic/vocational education and substance abuse). In July 1998, a department analysis identified a need for 7,138 new full-time work assignments in order to provide full-time work and program assignments for all available inmates. Excluding currently available program assignments, as did the OPPAGA report referenced above, this 1998 analysis identifies a need for 16,124 full-time work assignments to provide full-time work for all available inmates. The number of assignments needed is subject to change based on changes in currently available work and program assignments, fluctuations in the statewide inmate population, and the number of inmates assigned to private prisons.

The department recognizes the need to expand meaningful work and program opportunities for eligible inmates and make them available for placement in these assignments. It is important to minimize inmate idleness and simultaneously maximize the utilization of inmates while incarcerated. It is also important to provide an environment for work and personal development within the correctional setting that approximates the community to which they will eventually return. While there are similarities between working in the community and working in prison, some significant differences must be taken into account. The department is developing a plan to provide these comparable work opportunities, maximizing the utilization of inmates, and using work to reduce inmate idleness. The projected long-term outcome of these efforts will be increased inmate productivity and increased reduction in the cost of incarceration for the citizens of Florida.

The optimal situation for Florida's citizens is for inmates to pay for part of their incarceration through productive work, repay their victims, support their families on the outside, and upon release have waiting jobs or release-transition cash reserve. The Prison Industry Enchantment (PIE) program can make this a reality if the Legislature makes funds available to build industry locations inside our institutions.

If these locations become available in five to ten years, there could be 1,000 to 2,000 private sector PIE jobs available inside our prisons. These PIE work programs will provide an additional avenue for the department to address issues of job training and inmate idleness. PIE work programs forge partnerships with private sector companies, employ inmate labor with prevailing or minimum wage, and provide for the sale of products through interstate commerce.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) established these guidelines for the operation of PIE programs:

  • PIE operates on a "level playing field" with free world businesses.
  • Local union membership is not negatively impacted.
  • Local businesses are not faced with unfair competition.
  • No abundance of existing free world labor available in the proposed PIE project area.

Here are the number of inmates in the PIE program since its beginning:

FY Inmates
96-97 65
97-98 10
98-99 30

As of the end of calendar year 1998 three PIE programs are operating. The number of projected PIE programs is 17. Six will come on line in FY 98/99 and 11 will come on line in FY 99-00. Taxpayer dollars saved since PIE's beginning are seen here:

  Victim's Programs Room & Board
FY Amount Amount
96-97 $34,658 $63,235
97-98 $10,559 $27,571

The department is committed to the rapid expansion of PIE programs. This commitment is translated into action through planning objectives that target PIE success by increasing the PIE man-hours worked and gross wages paid. Tracking these success indicators will make the department's PIE program a tremendous contributor toward the goal of maximizing cost-savings/avoidance for taxpayers.


Objectives and Strategies

Objective 2-1.1

Increase the number of work assignments for inmates available for work to 39,392 from a baseline of 35,182 (FY 97-98) by July 2004.

Projection Table
FY Jul-00 FY Jul-01 FY Jul-02 FY Jul-03 FY Jul-04
36,024 36,866 37,708 38,553 39,392

Strategies:

  1. Request additional correctional officer positions. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Monitor and track available inmate work assignments. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Target facilities for establishing PIE work programs. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.2

Increase the number of inmate work assignments that provide at least 40 hours a week from a baseline to be determined to 100% of work assignments in place by July 2004.

Projection Table
FY Jul-00 FY Jul-01 FY Jul-02 FY Jul-03 FY Jul-04
To be determined To be determined To be determined To be determined To be determined

Strategies:

  1. Determine the percentage of inmate work assignments that are at least 40 hours per week. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Develop a plan related to management of inmate work assignments. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Request additional resources necessary to provide at least a 40-hour workweek for all work assignments. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.3

Increase from a baseline of 3 in FY 97-98 to 48 the number of contracted public work squads by July 2004.

Note: Legislative Budget Request 4, Reduce Inmate Idleness-Inmate Work Squads supports this objective.

Projection Table
FY Jul-00 FY Jul-01 FY Jul-02 FY Jul-03 FY Jul-04
12 21 30 39 48

Strategies:

  1. Establish contracts for public work squads. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Make inmate labor resources available to meet contracts. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  3. Support the contract renewal process. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.4

Annually maintain at or above the baseline of $204.4 million the annual cost-avoidance realized by using inmate labor to support institutional operations.

Projection Table
FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03 FY 03-04
$204.4 $204.4 $204.4 $204.4 $204.4

Strategy:

Increase where feasible institutional work opportunities for inmates. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.5

Annually maintain at or above the baseline of 5,515,717 hours (FY 96-97) the hours spent working for other government agencies and communities.

Projection Table
FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03 FY 03-04
5,515,717 5,515,717 5,515,717 5,515,717 5,515,717

Strategies:

  1. Expand where feasible, current local agreements between the department and outside entities. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Expand the community work squad program. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.6

Annually maintain at or above the baseline of $23,553,456 (FY 96-97) the net savings of work performed by inmates for government entities and communities.

Projection Table
FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03 FY 03-04
$23,553,456 $23,553,456 $23,553,456 $23,553,456 $23,553,456

Strategies:

  1. Expand where feasible, current local agreements between the department and outside entities. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management
  2. Expand the community work squad program. Lead Unit: Security and Institutional Management

Objective 2-1.7

Increase the private sector prison-based industry programs (PIE) man-hours worked to 50,000 from a 12,861 man-hours worked baseline (FY 97-98) by June 2000.

Projection Table
June 99 June 00
31,431 50,000

Objective 2-1.8

Increase the private sector prison-based industry programs gross wages paid to $260,000 from a $70,390 baseline (FY 97-98) by June 2000.

Projection Table
June 99 June 00
$165,195 $260,000

Strategies:

  1. Develop more private industry participation. Lead Unit: Administration
  2. Increase inmate work opportunities through partnerships. Lead Unit: Administration