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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


Media Advisory
December 17, 2013
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Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Florida Department of Corrections Opens Gadsden Re-Entry Center to Serve Northwest Florida

~The 432-bed facility will serve as a model for other facilities statewide.~

TALLAHASSEE, Florida - Secretary Michael Crews and Warden Walt Summers today joined community members at the opening of the Gadsden County Re-Entry Center in Havana, Florida. This 432 bed facility is the first of its kind in the North Florida area and will serve as a model for others like it throughout Florida.

"The Department of Corrections is committed to reducing recidivism in order to keep Florida families safe.  The Gadsden Re-Entry Center is just one piece of the puzzle that makes up a complete and successful inmate re-entry process," said Secretary Crews. "It will help provide inmates the tools they need to transition from prison to society in order to be productive, contributing members to the local community."

This medium custody facility will serve as the gateway for inmates who are preparing to re-enter society. A variety of transition programs such as Family Re-Unification, Victim Awareness, Anger Management and Money SMART, along with other programs, will help inmates serve as productive members of their community upon release.

In addition, inmates will have the opportunity to take part in academic programs and vocational education programs, such as Culinary Arts, Industrial Machine and Maintenance Repair and Masonry. These types of programs assist inmates in the transition process by providing relevant job skills training necessary to obtain gainful employment upon release.

"At the Gadsden Re-Entry Center, inmates will work hard to be well rounded citizens. They will be better parents, employees, students and community members," said Warden Walt Summers.

Successful re-entry is accomplished when a team of partners work together to assist inmates in becoming law-abiding citizens, thus reducing recidivism. The partnership and involvement of the community is key to developing a successful re-entry process.

The Open House today offered an opportunity for community members to view the facility and become familiar with the Department and institution staff. Inmates will arrive at the facility beginning in January, at which time community volunteers can participate in facility programs and activities.

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As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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