June 16, 2008
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
Tallahassee, Florida – Corrections Secretary Walter A. McNeil will be speaking and hosting the Florida Department of Corrections’ (DC) Restoration of Rights Summit being held in room 412 of the Knott Building at the Capitol in Tallahassee on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 and Wednesday, June 18, 2008, in room 212. The day and a half Summit will consist of both general plenary sessions with a keynote speaker and specific breakout sessions. The breakout sessions will be chaired by experts and community leaders committed to addressing the barriers ex-offenders face when reentering the community.
This Summit is particularly important given the rise in the correctional population and subsequent releases. In fiscal year 2006-07, Florida released 35,377 inmates from its state prisons. Unfortunately, many of these ex-offenders leave Florida’s prison system only to return a short time later. With a current recommitment rate (those returning to prison after three years) of 33%, the DC estimates that over 11,000 of the inmates released will return to Florida’s prison system, creating 11,000 more victims and further negatively impacting public safety in Florida.
Breakout sessions will focus on assessing Florida’s current re-entry status and identifying those areas we should improve upon. We anticipate that the Summit will be the first of several meetings that will provide recommendations to address barriers to reentry and create long standing collaborative partnerships within the community.
To further show its commitment to re-entry issues, the Florida Department of Corrections has formed an Advisory Council. The Council is comprised of key stakeholders and community members that will assist the Department in the development and coordination of strategies to improve outcomes for released offenders. The Council is tasked with compiling the recommendations from the Restoration of Rights Summit and subsequent council meetings to build the Department of Corrections’ Re-Entry Strategy.
News media is welcome to the Summit; participants must be registered in advance. For registration questions, call Kerensa N. Pate in the Bureau of Community Relations & Re-Entry, Florida Department of Corrections (DC) at (850) 410-4400. News media should contact DC Communications Director Gretl Plessinger at (850) 778-6758.