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?

How many offenders does the department have in custody?

As of March 2021, the department housed 79,685 inmates in its facilities and was responsible for an additional 83,972 offenders on active community supervision. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, FDC incarcerated approximately 94,000 inmates. The response to COVID-19 resulted in fewer arrests and prosecutions, fewer individuals sentenced to incarceration, and fewer commitments received from county jails. As of 2021, 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 May 2021, Florida had 143 prison facilities, including 50 major institutions (7 of which are privatized with the contracts overseen by the Department of Management Services)  16 annexes, 33 work camps, 30 community release centers (includes 18 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 decreased by 11.8% from 34 in Fiscal Year 2018-19 to 30 in Fiscal Year 2019-20. One (3.3%) of the 30 escapes was from a correctional institution. The escape from a correctional institution was an escape from a secure perimeter, during which an inmate used a homemade ladder to climb the perimeter fence undetected. Due to the use of the homemade ladder the escape was deemed a Level III escape. One (3.3%) of the 30 escapes was from a work camp/road prison, and was a Level II escape. The remaining 28 (93.3%) escapes were from work release/contract centers and all 28 were Level I escapes.

Of the 30 escapes, 28 (93.3%) were recaptured by July 7, 2020. Of the 28 recaptured, 22 (78.6%) were recaptured within the same quarter the escape occurred. Of the 22 recaptured within the quarter, 13 (59.1%) were recaptured within 24 hours of the escape.

What is the inmate recidivism rate?

According to the most recent rate for 2016, the department reported that 25.4% of the inmates who left Florida's prisons will return (or recidivate) within three years. For 2016 releases, some factors found to influence an inmate’s likelihood of recidivism include

  • the number of prior prison commitments;
  • the inmate’s age at release;
  • the inmate’s gang membership;
  • the inmate’s theft offense counts; and
  • whether the inmate committed a murder or manslaughter offense.

How much does it cost to incarcerate an inmate?

For Fiscal Year 2019-20, it cost $66.48 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: 2021-22
Title Fund Dollars Positions
CORRECTIONS, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS
COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
242,718,443
2,793.00
PROGRAM: DEPARTMENT ADMINISTRATION
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
38,660,766
469.00
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
27,542,680
179.50
PROGRAM: EDUCATION AND PROGRAMS
ADULT OFFENDER TRANSITION, REHABILITATION AND SUPPORT
13,383,693
86.00
ADULT SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION AND TREATMENT SERVICES
19,176,356
35.00
BASIC EDUCATION SKILLS
43,410,906
370.00
COMMUNITY SUBSTANCE ABUSE PREVENTION, EVALUATION, AND TREATMENT SERVICES
26,194,623
.00
PROGRAM: HEALTH SERVICES
INMATE HEALTH SERVICES
567,829,795
151.50
PROGRAM: SECURITY AND INSTITUTIONAL OPERATIONS
ADULT AND YOUTHFUL OFFENDER FEMALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
88,818,908
842.00
ADULT MALE CUSTODY OPERATIONS
876,111,729
10,040.00
CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES MAINTENANCE AND REPAIR
207,446,923
540.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
49,524,897
470.00
MALE YOUTHFUL OFFENDER CUSTODY OPERATIONS
44,286,002
309.00
PUBLIC SERVICE WORKSQUADS AND WORK RELEASE TRANSITION
94,755,210
934.00
SPECIALTY CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION OPERATIONS
578,571,208
8,199.00
TOTAL
2,918,432,139
25,418.00

Updates

Modification or Continuation of Terms of Probation. The 2021 Legislature passed Chapter 2021-210, Laws of Florida, which amended s. 948.06, Florida Statutes. In 2019, the Legislature passed legislation requiring a court to modify and continue, rather than revoke, probation for specified offenders who violate probation by committing certain technical violations deemed low-risk. A technical violation is any alleged violation of probation that is not a new felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense. The Legislature intended for this benefit to apply only to offenders meeting multiple eligibility criteria. This law change provides that  a court must modify or continue a probationary term upon finding that a probationer has committed certain technical violations when all , rather than any, of the following apply.
• The term of supervision is probation.
• The probationer does not qualify as a violent felony offender of special concern.
• The violation is a low-risk technical violation, as defined in s. 948.06(9)(b), Florida Statutes.
• The court has not previously found the probationer in violation of his or her probation pursuant to a filed violation of probation affidavit during the current term of supervision. A probationer who has successfully completed sanctions through the alternative sanctioning program is eligible for mandatory modification or continuation of his or her probation.

Inmate Welfare Trust Funds.  Chapter 2020-97, Laws of Florida, established 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 law 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. Any proceeds or funds collected in a fiscal year above $2.5 million must be deposited in the General Revenue Fund.

Contraband In Specified Facilities. Chapter 2020-59, Laws of Florida, adds 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 specified contraband onto the grounds of certain DCF facilities. This bill also provides vapor-generating electronic devices introduced into any of the facilities listed to be a first degree misdemeanor offense. Cellular phones and portable communications devices brought onto the grounds of juvenile facilities or DCF 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.

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.

Commission on Offender Review-Clemency and Conditional Medical Release-Operational Audit, Report 2021-118, January 2021 

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.

 2021-2024 Strategic Plan, Florida Department of Corrections.

2020-2021 Regulatory Plan, Florida Department of Corrections, 2020.

2021-2022 through 2025-2026 Long Range Program Plan, Florida Department of Corrections.

Florida Prison Recidivism Report: Releases from 2008 to 2018,Florida Department of Corrections, June 2020.  

Florida Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet Preparation Manual, Florida Department of Corrections and Office of the State Courts Administrator, July 2020.
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

Website