For Immediate Release
January 17, 2002
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Department of Corrections Secretary Michael W. Moore today announced a new program that will provide valuable investigative information to law enforcement agencies across the state.
Moore said, "the new program is part of Governor Bush's initiative to reduce crime through the use of technology and strengthen cooperation between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies."
Secretary Moore at
Prison Tips press conference.
Prison TIPS, will allow inmates, probationers, and other individuals to report anonymously information about unsolved crimes or on-going criminal investigations. Program participants may be eligible for rewards through the local level, specifically if there is a Crime Stoppers award attached to the investigation.
"This program is evidence of our continued partnership with local law enforcement agencies," Moore said. "Prison TIPS will provide another avenue to solve crimes and make Florida a safer place to live, work and raise a family."
Moore said MCI/Worldcom was instrumental in the early development of the Prison TIPS system. "MCI/Worldcom designed the system, built the software, and provided technical support services to the program," said Moore. "MCI/Worldcom continues to provide technical support for the system and is in the process of providing stickers for each of the inmate phones to remind them about the Prison TIPS program. The program is funded in part by the use of the inmate phone system and through the MCI/Worldcom."
Prison TIPS can be accessed by dialing * T I P S from any inmate phone located inside department facilities, as well as through a toll free number (1-866-276-TIPS), which can be called from phones outside the prison. All calls are on a secured line that go directly into a voice mail that will be checked daily by the Office of the Inspector General. Criminal intelligence that is gathered is then disseminated to the local sheriff's office having jurisdiction over the crime.
Individuals calling Prison TIPS will have the option of establishing a voice mailbox, which can be accessed by a randomly assigned anonymous pass code, if they want to receive information in return on the status of the information they provided. It also provides a mechanism for law enforcement officials to stay in contact with individuals who may be eligible for a monetary reward offered by law enforcement or a local Crime Stoppers organization.
The Department of Corrections implemented the Prison TIPS pilot program last year and has just recently expanded the program statewide.