August 13, 2012
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TALLAHASSEE- Department Secretary Ken Tucker welcomed Leon and Gadsden area community partners, businesses, families and elected officials to the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy as part of a series of Town Hall Meetings that are being held across Florida. These meetings give the Department the opportunity to share their mission and goals while also allowing attendees to ask questions and share ideas about offenders re-entering local communities.
“The re-entry process doesn’t start a few weeks before an offender is ready to leave the Department of Corrections system,” said Secretary Tucker. “The re-entry process begins the day that inmate becomes part of the DOC system. From that moment on, we must all work together to ensure that inmate will re-enter society and become a contributing and productive member of their community.”
The Office of Re-Entry’s mission is to provide inmates and offenders with comprehensive programs and services that will assist in the successful re-entry into the community, thereby reducing recidivism while enhancing public safety, and promoting post-release success.
Florida has a 30 percent recidivism rate, which means ex-offenders recommit crimes in Florida after leaving the custody and supervision of the Department.
In 2011, the Department oversaw and housed 102,000 inmates and managed 150,000 offenders on community supervision. Florida is the third largest prison system in the United States.
“The re-entry process impacts every Floridian, regardless of a personal connection a citizen has through employment or a family member,” said Deputy Crews. “Every community has a stake in this process because when these offenders re-enter society, they are living in the same community that you call home. It is in everyone’s best interest to make sure these ex-offenders have the tools and skills to become a contributing member of the community we live in.”
The Department hopes these Town Hall meetings will encourage communities and organizations to partner with them to reduce recidivism and end the cycle of criminal behavior. Through these partnerships, public safety will be enhanced and partnerships will be created that will decrease the number of new prisons needed and foster partnerships to assist in providing prevention, intervention, and diversionary services to at-risk individuals, offenders, and ex-offenders.
Community members who were not able to attend a Town Hall Meeting are still encouraged to submit their ideas and suggestions by emailing them to the Office of Re-Entry at Reentryefforts@mail.dc.state.fl.us.
For more information on re-entry and the re-entry process, visit the Department’s website at www.dc.state.fl.us.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 25,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 150,000 offenders in the community.