February 24, 2015
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TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Corrections’ Walton Correctional Institution, in partnership with the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office, Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.), Goodwill Industries and Northwest Florida State College hosted its bi-annual re-entry seminar on Friday, February 13. The seminar was attended by nearly 200 inmates who listened to various presentations and participated in a question and answer sessions with the presenters.
“Preparing inmates to successfully re-enter Florida’s communities is critical to the success of the Department’s vision of changing lives to ensure a safer Florida,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Re-Entry, Chris Southerland. “The Department recognizes that individuals leaving our custody need to know where they can receive guidance when they re-enter society. I am proud of the hard work of those at Walton Correctional Institution who coordinated this incredible event and have embraced the re-entry philosophy.”
During the re-entry seminar, inmates nearing release had the opportunity to hear about the available resources to assist in their transition back into the community. In January 2015, 95 percent of inmates released from Walton C.I. were either ID Prepared or had obtained a Florida ID through the Department’s partnership with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. For inmates who were unable to be issued a Florida ID or become ID Prepared during their incarceration, the Walton County Tax Collector’s Office provided information on how to obtain a driver’s license and identification card upon release. A representative from Alcoholics Anonymous shared her story to encourage inmates to contact an A.A. group, if needed, for support and sponsorship. Goodwill Industries shared information on how they help inmates after release with resume building, job skills and important tips to gain employment. Additionally, a representative from Northwest Florida State College shared information on educational opportunities for released inmates and how to obtain educational financial aid.
In FY 13-14, the Department released nearly 33,000 inmates. For more information on the Department’s commitment to helping our inmates successfully re-enter Florida’s communities, please visit http://www.dc.state.fl.us/orginfo/reentry.html.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, incarcerates more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.