| Press Release
January 29, 2014
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Tallahassee -- The Florida Department of Corrections highlighted Governor Rick Scott’s It’s Your Money Tax Cut Agenda Budget and his commitment to criminal justice reforms and creating efficiencies in government. The state has saved more than $132 million through the consolidation of over 19 facilities. This year’s budget recommendations for the Florida Department of Corrections focus on the priorities of reducing recidivism and increasing public safety.
“Governor Scott’s commitment to continued public private partnerships and investing in effective rehabilitative models will make Florida’s communities safer and save our state’s taxpayers money annually,” said Secretary Michael Crews. “The Governor’s recommended budget for the Department of Corrections demonstrates his support and recognition of the Department’s mission to change lives to ensure a safer Florida.”
Re-Entry Centers are a smart investment in a complete and successful inmate re-entry process by providing inmates necessary treatment and the educational and vocational tools they need to transition from prison to society in order to be productive, contributing members in the local community. Governor Scott’s budget includes $17.3 million to open two new re-entry facilities, Baker and Everglades.
The Budget also includes $7.2 million to expand residential treatment by adding 400 more beds to treat addiction of persons ordered on probation with treatment.
“Providing new substance abuse treatment dollars not only supports Florida’s efforts to treat addictions that contribute to criminal behavior, but also achieves positive results by helping offenders become contributing members of society,” said Mark Fontaine, Executive Director of the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association. “The Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association applauds Governor Scott for his vision and recognition of the need to deal proactively with the issue of substance abuse.”
The possession of appropriate identification is critical to obtaining a job. The budget provides $800,000 to ensure inmates obtain state identification upon release from prison, so that they are able to obtain legitimate employment as they transition back into their communities. With a state identification card, former inmates will be much more likely to successfully enter Florida’s economic marketplace.
It’s Your Money Tax Cut Agenda Budget invests in the safety of Florida families and visitors by providing $8 million to expand electronic monitoring to all inmates in community work release as well as offenders ordered under monitoring by the courts.
Law enforcement partners across the state recognize the positive impact the Governor’s budget will have on Department of Corrections’ stakeholders.
“Today Florida's crime rate is at a historic 42 year low. This outcome is supported by Governor Scott's efforts to strategically fund corrections issues,” said Sheriff Grady Judd, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association. “We applaud his dedication to reducing victimization and keeping Florida families safe.”
Additional budget highlights include $11.7 million to fund security vacancies in Florida’s prisons, $500,000 to replace aged prison transport vehicles, and $10 million to correct deficiencies through renovations and enhance security at correctional facilities.
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.