September 21, 2016
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TALLAHASSEE – Today, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) announced the successful completion of the Spectrum pilot project. Spectrum is the newest version of FDC’s current needs-assessment system and seeks to reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for inmates and probationers in Florida through proper assessment and the provision of the resources and tools needed to achieve rehabilitation for each individual. The Department will now deploy Spectrum statewide.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “Our top priority is to prepare our inmate and offender populations for successful lives in the community where they serve as productive members of society. Through Spectrum, we are gathering the information needed to build individual re-entry and rehabilitation plans for those under our supervision. The proper utilization of this information will enable FDC staff to provide the right services at the right time to have the greatest impact on the rehabilitative process. We strongly believe that Spectrum will have broad impacts which include reducing recidivism, lowering the inmate population and preventing future victimization.”
Professor Bill Bales, Director of Florida State University’s Center of Criminology and Public Policy Research, said, “Florida Department of Corrections is embarking on an exciting and scientifically driven system that will place inmates and offenders in appropriate programming at the right time. The offender and inmate needs are greater than current available resources. Spectrum is the tool to better identify the needs and ensure limited program resources are used in the most efficient way. Thus resulting in lowering recidivism.”
Recent data analyses have shown that nearly 60%, or $15 million, of the Department’s in-prison substance use disorder budget is dedicated to treating a small percentage of inmates who are among the least likely to return to prison following release. Specifically targeting services to inmates with a greater likelihood of reoffending will allow FDC to more effectively treat a greater number of individuals with the same resources.
As a result, programs and contracted services have begun changing to support these conclusions. The Department looks forward to the community’s support of these initiatives as it begins to expand and reshape offered services to better prepare high-risk inmates with important workforce certifications, successful completion of substance use disorder treatments and expanded paid employment prior to community release.
For more information regarding the Division of Development: Improvement and Readiness, and steps the Department is taking to improve inmate outcomes, visit: www.dc.state.fl.us/development-menu.html. To learn more about Spectrum, visit: https://youtu.be/WRI5ldWf5MY.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 98,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.