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 November 2019, the department housed 94,701 inmates in its facilities and as of June 2019 was responsible for an additional 101,915 offenders on active community supervision. As of 2018, 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 2019, Florida had 145 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, 30 community release centers (includes 18 contracted), 3 road prisons/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 decreased 30.6% from 49 in Fiscal Year 2017-18 to 34 in Fiscal Year 2018-19. Two (5.9%) of the 34 escapes were from a correctional institution; one was a Level I escape and one was a Level II escape. Neither of the escapes from correctional institutions were escapes from a secure perimeter. One (2.9%) of the 34 was from a work camp/road prison, and was a Level I escape. The remaining 31 (91.2%) escapes were from work release/contract centers and all of the 31 were Level I escapes. There were no escapes designated Level III during Fiscal Year 2018-19.

Of the 34 escapes, 32 (94.1%) were recaptured as of July 17, 2019. Of the 32 recaptured, 27 (84.4 %) were recaptured within the quarter. Of the 27 recaptured within the quarter, 17 (63.0%) were recaptured within 24 hours of the escape.

What is the inmate recidivism rate?

The department reported that 24.7% of the inmates who were released from Florida's prisons in 2015 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 2018-19, it cost $59.92 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
227,194,050
2,793.00
PROGRAM: DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATION
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
36,792,478
461.00
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
28,533,065
179.50
PROGRAM: EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS
ADULT OFFENDER TRANSITION, REHABILITATION AND SUPPORT
12,726,001
86.00
ADULT SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION AND TREATMENT SERVICES
19,056,452
35.00
BASIC EDUCATION SKILLS
40,557,397
370.00
COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION, AND TREATMENT SERVICES
26,094,623
.00
PROGRAM: HEALTH SERVICES
INMATE HEALTH SERVICES
567,136,622
146.50
PROGRAM: SECURITY AND INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS
ADULT AND YOUTHFUL OFFENDER FEMALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
80,687,136
842.00
ADULT MALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
820,053,340
9,820.00
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
189,749,225
540.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
30,827,629
439.00
MALE YOUTHFUL OFFENDER CUSTODY OPERATIONS
40,987,755
309.00
PUBLIC SERVICE WORKSQUADS AND WORK RELEASE TRANSITION
99,284,286
934.00
SPECIALTY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OPERATIONS
543,619,401
8,199.00
TOTAL
2,763,299,460
25,154.00

Updates

Inmate Welfare Trust Funds.  Chapter 2020-97, Laws of Florida, establishes a State-Operated Institutions Inmate Welfare Trust Fund within the Department of Corrections. The department holds this trust for the benefit and welfare of inmates incarcerated in correctional facilities they operate. Among others, net proceeds from inmate canteens, vending machines, hobby shops, contracted telephone commissions, and the confiscation and liquidation of any contraband found is deposited into the trust fund. The bill requires the funds to be used exclusively to provide for or operate specified programming needs including literacy, vocational and education programs among many other inmate programs. Chapter 2020-98, Laws of Florida, requires, through amending s. 945.215, Florida Statutes, that any proceeds or funds collected in a fiscal year above a $2.5 million dollar cap be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.

Contraband In Specified Facilities.  Chapter 2020-59, Laws of Floridaadds medical marijuana, hemp, industrial hemp, and vapor-generating electronic devices to the list of contraband that may not be introduced into or on the grounds of state correctional institutions, county detention facilities, juvenile detention facilities, juvenile commitment programs, and facilities operated by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). The bill provides that it is a third degree felony to introduce this type of contraband onto the grounds of the aforementioned facilities with the exception of juvenile detention and commitment program grounds which would result in a second degree felony. This bill also provides vapor-generating electronic devices introduced onto any of the facilities listed would be a first degree misdemeanor offense. Cellular phones and portable communications devices brought onto the grounds of juvenile facilities or DCF and APD is a first degree misdemeanor offense. 

Incarcerated Pregnant Women. The 2020 Legislature amended s. 944.241, Florida Statutes, renaming the act the “Tammy Jackson Healthy Pregnancies for Incarcerated Women Act.” The bill prescribes procedures for when a pregnant prisoner is placed in restrictive housing and requires detention facilities to adopt written policies about using restraints and body cavity searches on pregnant prisoners. A pregnant prisoner may be involuntarily placed in restrictive housing if the corrections official of the correctional institution makes an individualized determination that such housing is necessary to protect the health and safety of the pregnant prisoner or others. Pregnant prisoners placed in restrictive housing are to be seen by a qualified healthcare professional every 24 hours and a corrections officer every hour. Pregnant prisoners will be given a medical treatment plan that has been developed and approved by a qualified healthcare professional at the correctional institution.

Incarcerated Women.  The 2019 Legislature passed Ch. 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.

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.

Department of Corrections: Correctional Officer Recruitment, Certification, and Training and Selected Administrative Activities - Operational Audit, Report 2020-192, April 2020. 

Department of Corrections - Community Supervision, Selected Administrative Activities, and Prior Audit Follow-Up - Operational Audit, Report 2020-006, July 2019.

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 2017, Florida Department of Corrections, June 2019.  
Florida Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Preparation Manual, Florida Department of Corrections and Office of the State Courts Administrator, July 2019.
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.

Procurements 

The Florida Accountability Contract Tracking System (FACTS) website provides access to department contract and purchase order 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

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