March 11, 2015
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Published March 10, 2015
By: Julie Jones
To view the story online, visit: http://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2015/03/10/julie-jones-doc-changing-inside/24702573/.
The most important characteristics of a governmental agency are accountability and transparency.
As public servants, the employees of the Florida Department of Corrections owe it to our state’s residents and visitors to be open and honest.
The department is in a state of change. To ensure best practices are in place, we are taking a systematic approach, and evaluating each individual system to identify strengths and weaknesses.
The heart and soul of this department are our employees, and change begins with them. Through online surveys and interactive workshops held at almost every institution, more than 10,000 employees have voiced their opinions, ideas and concerns.
Committees have been formed to reinvent how we apply discipline, promote our employees, train leaders for future roles, enhance safety training and develop ways to recognize the good work our employees do every day.
I am proud to report that reform within our budget has already begun. Currently, an independent accounting firm is completing a thorough review and audit of our budgeting and accounting practices and I look forward to their findings and recommendations.
Without a balanced and fiscally responsible budget, we are unable to provide the resources our employees need to transform our institutions from warehouses to centers of excellence for education, training and re-entry.
Ultimately, transparency and hard work will rebuild the trust in this department that is currently lacking. In the coming years, I look forward to working with all of our partners to bring innovation and pride back to the Department of Corrections and earn your trust.
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.