Florida Department of Corrections
The Florida Department of Corrections is the third largest state prison system in the country. It has a budget of $2.4 billion with approximately 98,000 inmates in prison and 140,000 offenders on active community supervision. There are 149 facilities in the state. This includes 49 major institutions and seven private facilities. There are 33 work camps, four road prisons, two forestry camps, one boot camp, 13 work release centers and 20 work release centers operated by private vendors.
Over 80% of its staff are probation officers or certified correctional officers. The average age of an employee is 41 years old. Florida jails are run by individual counties. Jails house inmates that may be awaiting sentencing or are serving less than a year, whereas prisons house inmates who have already been convicted and sentenced. Jail inmates are serving for lesser crimes such as a misdemeanor. Prison inmates usually have felony offenses. The FDC admitted 30,289 inmates and released 31,957 in the Fiscal Year 2015-2016. There were 83,176 offenders placed on community supervision and 84,909 released from supervision.
“The mission of the Florida Department of Corrections is to provide a continuum of services to meet the needs of those entrusted to our care, creating a safe and professional environment with the outcome of reduced victimization, safer communities and an emphasis on the premium of life. To that end, FDC provides dozens of academic vocational and substance abuse programs to inmates and offenders, including in such areas as GED, adult basic education and mandatory literacy; printing and graphics, carpentry and digital design, and Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.”
(Florida Department of Corrections Website)
Julie Jones was appointed as Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections by Governor Scott on January 5, 2015. Ricky Dixon is the Deputy Secretary and Jenny Nimer is the Assistant Secretary of Community Corrections. Region I Director is James Perdue, Region II Director is Joe Walker, Region III Director is Mike Anderson and Region IV Director is Justine Patterson. Steven Fielder is the Chief of Staff and Kimberly Banks is the Chief Financial Officer.
A correctional trainee officer makes a $28,007.20 annual salary and a certified officer can make $30,807.92-$45,033.82. Officers are offered an annual salary additive of $1,200 when working in Indian River, Okeechobee, Martin, and St. Lucie counties. Approximately $2,500 is offered in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade or Monroe counties. Criminal Justice Incentive pay up to $1,560, or $130 per month, is offered annually. A correctional probation officer trainee makes $30,434.56 annually, whereas a certified officer makes $33,478.12-$51,603.24 annually. They have annual salary additives of approximately $1,700 and $2,740.00. The criminal justice incentive pay is up to $1,560, or $130 per month, annually.
The following is the Code of Conduct from the departments website:
I. I will never forget that I am a public official sworn to uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida.
II. I am a professional committed to the public safety, the support and protection of my fellow officers, and co-workers, and the supervision and care of those in my charge. I am prepared to go in harm's way in fulfillment of these missions.
III. As a professional, I am skilled in the performance of my duties and governed by a code of ethics that demands integrity in word and deed, fidelity to the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and, above all, allegiance to my oath of office and the laws that govern our nation.
IV. I will seek neither personal favor nor advantage in the performance of my duties. I will treat all with whom I come in contact with civility and respect. I will lead by example and conduct myself in a disciplined manner at all times.
V. I am proud to selflessly serve my fellow citizens as a member of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Oath of Allegiance:
I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida, that I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and that I will perform my duties faithfully and in accordance with my mission to ensure the public safety, the support and protection of my co-workers, and the care and supervision of those in my charge, so help me God.
When an inmate is sentenced in the Federal District Court, the Bureau determines where an offender will be designated for service of his/her sentence. The Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) requires for consideration all sentencing material about the offender. The Bureau attempts to assign the inmate within a 500-mile radius of their release residence. The inmates are designated based on the level of security needed, medical classification care level, program needs (mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment), bed capacity and various administrative factors. Any request for a transfer must come from the facility the inmate is located.
Once an inmate is sentenced they are sent to a state prison. Once admitted, each inmate is interviewed and screened by staff from the case management, medical and mental health units. After being examined, the inmate is sent to an orientation where they will learn of the programs, policies, services and procedures. The orientation familiarizes the new inmate with the workings of the facility. The Bureau limits the amount of property inmates may have for security, safety and sanitation reasons. These items include jewelry, photographs, books, magazines, etc. The facility issues clothing hygiene items, and bedding. It also provides laundry services. Inmates have the opportunity to purchase shoes, recreational clothing, and certain foods through the commissary. All items must be approved in accordance with the Bureau’s regulations. All unauthorized items are considered contraband and is seized and disposed of. Contraband that is dangerous may result in disciplinary action and/or criminal prosecution.
Entering the General Population
The Department of Corrections monitors and supervises adult offenders by probation officers located in 130 Community Corrections' probation officers throughout Florida. It includes offenders released from prison on parole, conditional release, medical release including probation. Correctional Probation Officers also supervise pre-trial intervention offenders. The Community Corrections' function is to protect the community by supervising offenders and reporting non-compliance to the sentencing or releasing authority. They enforce standard conditions of supervision. They are monitored by field contracts at their residences, employment sites and other locations throughout their community. The regions are divided according to 20 judicial courts.
The Florida Department of Corrections oath of Allegiance is:
"I do solemnly swear or affirm that I will uphold the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida, that I will obey the lawful orders of those appointed over me, and that I will perform my duties faithfully and in accordance with my mission to ensure the public safety, the support and protection of my co-workers, and the care and supervision of those in my charge, so help me God." (FDOT Website)