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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 22, 1999
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

DOC Housing Program
to Reduce Recidivism

TALLAHASSEE - The Department of Corrections has implemented a new transitional housing program for post-release offenders who are recovering from substance abuse. The program assists the inmate's transition to society while fostering a drug-free, crime-free, independent lifestyle.

The Legislature granted a special appropriation of $365,000 in this year's session to fund the Post-Release Transitional Housing Program in the current fiscal year. The voluntary program is designed to provide support to newly-released offenders who need a structured environment to promote their recovery from substance abuse.

The program provides furnished temporary housing as well as support services including job placement assistance, financial management assistance, transportation, substance abuse support services, food assistance, and benefits available within the community. The program is operating in Orlando, Sanford, Auburndale, and Pompano Beach. Other sites may open in Jacksonville and Gainesville as resources allow. DOC has contracted with Bridges of America, Inc. to operate the program.

According to DOC, of those inmates who re-offend after release, approximately:

  • 14 percent commit a new crime within the first 60 days after release;
  • 22 percent commit a new crime within the first 90 days after release, and;
  • 29 percent commit a new crime within the first 120 days after release.

Transitional services target offenders during this critical re-entry period, and focus on securing and maintaining employment.

State Rep. Allen Trovillion (District 36), chairman of the House Corrections Committee, cited research indicating that transitional support services are linked to reducing recidivism. "This program encourages former inmates to take up a lifestyle that will keep them out of prison and turn them into law-abiding, tax-paying citizens," he said.

The Governor's Drug Control Strategy recognizes the value of transitional services in reducing crime and violence by reducing the number of drug users, demand for drugs, drug trafficking and drug-related crime and violence.

For additional information you can also contact: Director of Programs Richard Nimer, (850) 410-4398 or Bureau Chief of Substance Abuse Programs Pam Denmark, (850) 488-9169

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