January 31, 2013
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TALLAHASSEE- The Florida Department of Corrections applauds Governor Rick Scott’s Florida Families First budget and his commitment to ensure safe communities. With the Florida Families First Budget, public safety in communities across Florida will be enhanced and additional support and resources will be given to the more than 25,000 members of the Department of Corrections.
“I commend Governor Scott for his public safety budget that supports Florida families and ensures safe communities. The Governor’s recommended budget for the Department of Corrections demonstrates his support and recognition of the hard work of our correctional team and fully supports our mission which is to ensure public safety. We get this done through proper care, security and supervision of inmates and offenders under our authority,” said Secretary Mike Crews.
Highlights in the Governor’s Budget Recommendations for the Department of Corrections, the third largest correctional agency in the country, for $2.2 billion includes providing $12.5 million to fund critical vacancies in Florida’s highest risk prisons to ensure safety of our staff and the public; $5.4 million to open the Gadsden Correctional Re-Entry Center with a targeted adult basic education and vocational focus; privatization of remaining state operated work release centers and funding to ensure all inmates are electronically monitored while in the community under work release; and $21.2 million to provide performance bonuses for Department employees for their efforts in reducing Florida’s recidivism rate, which has decreased by 4.9% over the past two years resulting in a cost avoidance of $44 million.
Partnering organizations across Florida recognize the importance of the Florida Families First budget and the impact it has on Department stakeholders.
“When the safety of Florida’s citizens is threatened, our Sheriffs have developed the resources to act swiftly and strategically. We thank the Governor for efforts to fund those targeted initiatives that reduce recidivism,” said the Florida Sheriff’s Association President Susan Benton.
“The Florida Police Chiefs Association applauds Governor Scott and the Department of Corrections for their commitment to public safety and the reduction of recidivism, and their dedication to stopping the cycle of victimization.”
Additionally, the Governor’s budget recognizes the shortfalls in the current year and provides $74.8 million to address the current year deficit and avoid agency layoffs.
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 120,000 offenders in the community.