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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary


For Immediate Release
July 1, 2002
For More Information:
Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Florida Department of Corrections Debuts its History on the Web Today

Did you know that Paul Newman played a role in Florida Department of Corrections history - without stepping foot in Florida? (1967) Do you know what happened to end the practice of "inmate leasing"? (1921) Why did the Department of Corrections close its doors in 1972 to incoming inmates? Can you believe an inmate who escaped from a prison in Starke, FL, actually made his way to Tallahassee and stole a car belonging to none other than the Secretary of the Department of Corrections? (1980) What warden of Florida State Prison instituted the short-lived practice of allowing death row inmates a "last drink"? (1983)


State Prison (1920s)

Would it surprise you to know that the number of offenders under supervision and in custody is larger than the population of 48 of 67 Florida counties?

Now, citizens of Florida can learn the inside scoop on all these stories by visiting the latest addition to the Florida Department of Corrections web site: Florida Corrections: Centuries of Progress.

"The Florida Department of Corrections has a rich and interesting history that not only provides entertaining reading but also gives us a great learning tool," said Secretary Michael Moore. "It's been said that history is a very early warning sign; throughout the years, we've drawn on the department's history lessons to give us the ability to do a better and better job of fulfilling our number-one mission to protect the public.

"Now the department's history is just a few clicks away, and Floridians can learn about who we were then and who we have become today."

The history of the Florida Department of Corrections is as colorful and diverse as the thousands of inmates who have passed through its doors since 1821, and the thousands of staff who have dedicated, and in some cases, lost their lives to this endeavor. It is by turns brutal, funny and heartbreaking, but above all, informative. Florida Corrections: Centuries of Progress will take you from our origins under the Commissioner of Public Institutions in 1868 with nine inmates, 14 staff and one institution to the Department of Corrections today with more than 73,000 inmates over 150,000 probationers and parolees, 25,000 staff 134 prison facilities and 160 Probation and Parole offices.