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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
May 30, 2007
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Governor Crist Signs 2007-2008 Budget
Public Safety Issues Highlighted

Tallahassee – Governor Charlie Crist has signed Florida’s 2007-08 budget, which increases the Legislature’s commitment to funding the Department of Corrections’ public safety priorities by more than $174 million over Fiscal Year 2006-07.

"I applaud Governor Crist’s strong support for public safety," said DOC Secretary James R. McDonough. "I also admire his wisdom and compassion in emphasizing the need to reintegrate former offenders into society. We will use this budget to the utmost of our ability to achieve his priorities."

Below are highlights of this year’s budget, as they pertain to the Department of Corrections: 

  • $164 million in fixed capital outlay funds for the construction of 5,139 new state operated prison beds. In addition, the Department is authorized to contract for additional privately operated work camp beds and work release beds, providing a more affordable and appropriate placement for certain offenders who are nearing the time when they will transition back into society.

  • $2 million in increased in-prison substance abuse services.  Currently, approximately 64 percent of the inmate population has been identified as having a significant substance abuse problem and being in need of treatment. These funds will help defray the financial impacts of prisoners who would otherwise re-offend and subsequently increase future fixed capital outlay costs.

  • $500,000 in increased inmate education programming.  Research shows that providing inmates who lack prior vocational training or a prior employment history with vocational training reduces recidivism.  These funds will be devoted to expanding the Department’s newly developed reading pilot programs.  Reading gains are the fundamental educational building block for inmates to gain vocational skills and earn job opportunities when they reenter society.

  • $1 million (approximately) to upgrade the radiology equipment at the Reception and Medical Center Hospital.

  • $1.5 million for the modernization of the Offender Based Information System (OBIS).  OBIS is the Department’s offender database system that enables the management of nearly 92,000 inmates and approximately 150,000 community-supervised offenders.  The system is critical to tracking offenders’ status, inmate health care, court-ordered restitution and most information necessary to safely and appropriately supervise Florida’s offender population.

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