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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
June 25, 1997
For More Information Contact:
Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

The Department of Corrections Built Beds
on Schedule within Budget

  • In 1994-95 the Florida Legislature appropriated $243,568,750 to add 11,557 beds to the Florida prison system. The Department of Corrections (DC) actually built 11,920 beds while staying within the appropriation.
  • This investment, approved by Governor Chiles and the Florida Legislature, was to build enough capacity within the Florida prison system to eliminate the early release of convicted felons.
  • In order to meet this mandate, DC utilized accelerated building concepts, and with the volume of construction, provided the State very favorable bid results.
  • According to the 1994-95 General Appropriations Act:
  • "Funds are provided in Specific Appropriation 1957 for the construction of the following: one single cell institution (1,318 beds); four combination institutions (1,183 beds each); four work camps (262 beds each); twenty single cell housing units at existing institutions (176 beds each); additional dormitories at existing institutions (605 total beds); and renovations to existing dormitories or conversion of existing buildings (334 total beds).

    Sites for facilities in Gulf, Santa Rosa, Okeechobee, St. Johns, and Wakulla Counties shall be given first priority for the above facilities unless the department determines and documents that no site meeting the established siting criteria of the department is available in the above listed counties."

  • In each case, prior to construction, the DC had a master construction plan, including obtaining the required permits. Also in each case when DC constructed a prison, it had a firm commitment from private landholders and appropriate elected officials that the land would be conveyed to the State as soon as practical.
  • The department has been recognized by the U.S. General Accounting Office as having one of the lowest prison construction costs of any state correctional department.
  • Finally the department, by adjusting its construction management and scheduling, has returned the following operating cost savings to the taxpayers:

      * $58.3 million in 1995/96
      * $47.6 million (estimated) for 1996/97
      * $65.6 million (actual budget reduction) for 1997/98
  FY 1994-95 Authorization Budgeted Beds Current Projected Cost Actual Beds
Stand-alone Institutions:
  Okeechobee   (1)  
  Santa Rosa 1,318 $37,285,500 1,356
   Wakulla 1,183 $32,763,000 (2) 1,205
Institutional Annexes
   Gulf 1,183 $23,617,500 1,244
   Hamilton 1,183 $20,853,750 1,244
   DeSoto 1,183 $24,622,500 1,244
   Work Camps 786 6,130,500 786
   Additional Housing Unit 4,387 91,354,500 4,507
  Dorm Renovations 344 2,814,000 334
    11,557 239,441,250 11,920
  Reserve 4,127,500  
  Total Appropriation $243,568,750  

(1) No funding was appropriated for Okeechobee Correctional Institution as it was authorized to be constructed through long term debt financing. The project is expected to be completed within the budgeted amount of $39,327,574 available in the construction account maintained by the trustee.

(2) Excludes $1.3 million appropriated in FY 1996-97 for the construction of an access road.

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