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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


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We all have a stake in Florida’s future


Text Box: Throughout the following pages, you will get a glimpse of the many faces of the Florida Department of Corrections: the mentors, the troops, the victim's advocates, the teachers and the emergency workers, to name just a few.

 

Photo: Governor Charlie Crist

Once again Florida was safe from serious criminal activity in 2005. In fact, the state was safer than it has been in more than 35 years. Crime dropped 3.7 percent in 2005 compared with 2004. Violent crime – including murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft - decreased for the 14th straight year. The actual number of crimes reported, fell 1.5 percent to Florida’s lowest total in 20 years.

Low crime rates reflect a determination to protect our families and our communities. Through the dedication of law enforcement, prosecutors and tougher laws against crime, Florida will continue to be safer for its citizens and visitors. The continuing decrease in violent crime is good news for our citizens. Florida has made real progress in our fight against crime, but there is always room for improvement.

From the initial support of the Stop Turning Out Prisoners (STOP) bill, which required that inmates serve at least 85 percent of their sentences to the ambitious 10-20-LIFE bill which mandated stiffer sentences for gun crimes, the Florida Department of Corrections has continued to support the Legislative and the administrative priorities for tougher crime laws to promote safer communities in Florida.

Through the dedicated leadership of Corrections Secretary James R. McDonough, his very capable staff and administrators have worked long and hard to promote a more secure Florida. As always, their commitment to public safety is exemplary.

Sincerely,
Charlie Crist
Governor

We contribute to Florida’s quality of life

Photo: Secretary James R. McDonough

On any given day, the Florida Department of Corrections safely houses more than 90,000 inmates and supervises more than 150,000 offenders. And on many days, thousands of those very same inmates and offenders work in a variety of outreach and community programs - from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys - designed to strengthen families and improve the quality of many lives.

Last year alone, the inmates and offenders, working in the Department’s Community Work Squad Programs performed close to 6.5 million hours of work valued at more than $79 million, and after costs, provided the citizens of Florida with a net cost savings/value added of approximately $44.5 million.

From the IMPACT program that allows inmates to train guide dogs for people with sight impairments to the equine training that rehabilitates retired thoroughbred racehorses for use by the Department of Corrections and other Florida law enforcement agencies, the inmate labor provides critical savings for cash strapped budgets. In addition, the work squads clear debris after hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters, clean state forests and parks, maintain roadways, recycle, remove litter, and take part in construction projects, school landscaping and cleaning and other duties.

In this Helping Hands booklet, we have attempted to capture the best collection of our efforts for the past year. Please read about our volunteers, the inmate work squads, our victim’s advocates, the service men and women and those others on the front lines working to help shape Florida’s future.

This booklet tells the hidden stories of the Florida Department of Corrections. For years, these have been among the best kept secrets in Florida state government. We are proud of our service to the people of Florida to improve the quality of life in our great state.

Sincerely,
James R. McDonough
Secretary

Discover how the Department of Corrections is "More Than You Think"

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