OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Corrections

What is the purpose of the department?

The purpose of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public through the incarceration and supervision of offenders and to rehabilitate offenders through the application of work, programs, and services.

What services does the department provide?

The department administers the following services:

How many offenders does the department have in custody?

As of January 2019, the department housed 95,723 inmates in its facilities and was responsible for an additional 103,501 offenders on active community supervision. As of 2016, the most current data available, Florida had the third largest state prison population in the United States, behind Texas and California.

How much time do inmates serve?

Section 944.275, Florida Statutes, requires all inmates to serve at least 85% of their sentence.

How many facilities does Florida operate?

As of June 2018, Florida had 143 prison facilities, including 50 major institutions (7 of which were privatized with the contracts overseen by the Department of Management Services) 17 annexes, 34 work camps, 28 community release centers (includes 16 contracted), 2 road prisons, 1 forestry camp, 1 basic training camp, and 3 re-entry centers.

Are Florida's prisons accredited?

The department is accredited by the American Correctional Association. The department maintains the accreditation of its major institutions, probation and parole field services, and work release centers. The department's involvement in the accreditation process began in 1968 when Florida was the first state to complete a preliminary self-evaluation of standards. Florida also became the first state to enter all of its major institutions into the accreditation process in 1979 when it entered into a contract to accredit its 24 major institutions. This was followed by the accreditation of its probation and parole field services and all of its work release centers in 1982. Finally, with the accreditation of its central office in January 1984, the department became the largest fully accredited correctional agency in the nation.

What kind of assistance does the department provide crime victims?

Victim Services assists victims of crimes committed by inmates in the department's custody or under the department's supervision and notifies victims prior to an inmate's release. Victim Services also provides referral services to victims with specific needs, such as counseling, support groups, crimes compensation, and crisis intervention.

How often do escapes occur?

An escape is an unauthorized absence from a designated facility boundary or absence from any official assignment outside the boundary. The department classifies escapes into three categories.
Level I:  Escape from non-secure environment, such as a community correctional center or outside work squad, in which no Level 3 behaviors are exhibited.
Level II:  Escape from a secure perimeter or supervised environment, in which no Level 3 behaviors are exhibited.
Level III:  Escape that involves hostages, weapons/tools, outside assistance or violence during or after the escape.
The number of escapes increased 16.7% from 42 in Fiscal Year 2016-17 to 49 in Fiscal Year 2017-18. Two (4.1%) of the 49 escapes were from a correctional institution; all were Level I. Two (4.1%) were from a work camp/road prison. Most, 45 (91.8%), were from work release/contract centers
Of the 49 escapes, 46 (93.9%) were recaptured as of July 2017. Of the 46 recaptured, 40 (81.6%) were recaptured within the quarter.  Of the 40 recaptured within the quarter, 27 (67.5%) were recaptured within 24 hours of the escape.

What is the inmate recidivism rate?

The department reported that 24.5% of the inmates who were released from Florida's prisons in 2014 returned (or recidivated) within three years. Some factors that can influence an increase in an inmate's likelihood of recidivism include the number of prior prison commitments, the number of disciplinary reports while in prison, and if they receive supervision after release.  Other factors such as increased education level and having a lower custody level upon release can lower the likelihood of recidivating.

How much does it cost to incarcerate an inmate?

For Fiscal Year 2017-18, it cost $59.75 per day, to house an inmate.  These rates represent an average cost per day for all types of inmates from the lowest custody level to death row and all types of facilities from the least costly community release centers to the more costly reception centers and specialty institutions, but excludes private facilities.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
CORRECTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS
COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
227,665,509
2,793.00
PROGRAM: DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATION
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
36,454,362
461.00
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
27,874,537
179.50
PROGRAM: EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS
ADULT OFFENDER TRANSITION, REHABILITATION AND SUPPORT
12,675,472
86.00
ADULT SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION AND TREATMENT SERVICES
19,030,322
35.00
BASIC EDUCATION SKILLS
40,345,358
370.00
COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION, AND TREATMENT SERVICES
26,094,623
.00
PROGRAM: HEALTH SERVICES
INMATE HEALTH SERVICES
567,019,924
146.50
PROGRAM: SECURITY AND INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS
ADULT AND YOUTHFUL OFFENDER FEMALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
80,967,147
842.00
ADULT MALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
822,892,846
9,820.00
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
189,414,533
540.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
30,760,191
439.00
MALE YOUTHFUL OFFENDER CUSTODY OPERATIONS
41,090,246
309.00
PUBLIC SERVICE WORKSQUADS AND WORK RELEASE TRANSITION
99,575,607
934.00
SPECIALTY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OPERATIONS
546,007,954
8,199.00
TOTAL
2,767,868,631
25,154.00

Updates

Incarcerated Women. The 2019 Legislature passed Chapter 2019-65, Laws of Florida, which, among other provisions, requires all correctional facilities to make health care products available to incarcerated women. These products include feminine hygiene products, including tampons, moisturizing soap that is not lye-based, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. In addition, the bill provides that a male correctional facility employee is prohibited from conducting a pat-down or body cavity search on an incarcerated woman except in situations where the incarcerated woman is presenting an immediate risk of harm and a female correctional facility employee is not available to do the search and they must announce their presence upon entering a housing unit for incarcerated women.
 
Correctional Officers. The 2019 Legislature passed Chapter 2019-113, Laws of Florida, which lowered the age requirement for correctional officers.  Previously, correctional officers, like law enforcement officers and correctional probation officers, had to be at least 19 years. In response to staffing shortages, this bill decreases the minimum age requirement to 18 years for full-time, part-time, or auxiliary correctional officers.
 
Uniform Criminal Justice Data Collection. The 2018 Legislature enacted Ch. 2018-127, Laws of Florida, with the intent of creating a model of uniform data collection by requiring local and state criminal justice agencies to report complete, accurate, and timely data, and making such data available to the public to promote criminal justice data transparency. Specifically, the law requires the clerks of court, state attorneys, public defenders, county detention facility administrators, and the Department of Corrections to collect specified data on a biweekly basis and report it to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) on a monthly basis.  FDLE is required to publish the data collected on their website and make it searchable and accessible to the public.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
Florida Department of Corrections statistics and publications are available on its website.
Comprehensive Correctional Master Plan, Florida Department of Corrections, 2018.
2018-2022 Strategic Plan, Florida Department of Corrections.
2018-2019 Regulatory Plan, Florida Department of Corrections, 2018.
Recidivism Report: Florida Prison Recidivism Study Releases from 2010 to 2016, Florida Department of Corrections, August 2018.
Florida Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Preparation Manual, Florida Department of Corrections and Office of the State Courts Administrator, July 2018.
Websites of Interest
American Probation and Parole Association
American Correctional Association
The Corrections Connection
Correctional Peace Officers Foundation
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Section 20.315, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Department of Corrections, 850-488-5021
Website