February 16, 2011
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Contact: Public Affairs Office
Department of Corrections probation offices have begun a statewide effort to scan thousands of inactive offender files that will ultimately result in annual savings close to three quarters of a million dollars. By law, inactive probationer files must be maintained for three years after supervision has terminated.
The bulk of the savings is from the estimated 37,000 feet of office space throughout the state being used to store the files, which is leased at an estimated $536,000 annually. Additional savings in postage, estimated at $130,000 to $150,000, and office supplies, well in excess of $30,000, will also be realized annually.
“Not only are we saving money on office space and supplies, but having the records imaged makes them more accessible for probation and prison staff,” said Department of Corrections Secretary Edwin Buss.
A pilot program to scan inactive files was launched in May 2010 in the Sebring and Sanford probation offices. The Department purchased two Kodak scanners and two personal computers for the project, and dedicated two entry-level positions to the effort. By August, 2, 500 inactive offender files had already been successfully imaged in PDF (Adobe Acrobat) format. The quality and accessibility of the files imaged was evident, so efforts were focused on statewide implementation.
Other benefits of imaging these files include:
Approximately 90,000 offenders terminate probation every year and there are more than 180,000 offenders on community supervision in Florida.