September 12, 2018
FDC Opens New Mental Health Facility at Wakulla Annex
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Today, the Florida Department of Corrections announced the opening of the new Residential Continuum of Care (RCC) at Wakulla Correctional Institution Annex. This unique treatment facility is made up of specialized housing units that provide safer and more effective treatment for inmates with serious mental impairments.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “Following more than two years of support and funding from Governor Scott and the Legislature, we are proud to announce the opening of our new Residential Continuum of Care at Wakulla Correctional. This facility is a testament to the Department’s commitment to better serve inmates with severe mental illness. The housing units will not only create a safer environment for officers and fellow inmates, but they will better prepare these inmates for reintegration into the general population and communities upon release.”
The RCC provides evidence-based mental health services to reduce symptom severity and improve behavioral functioning. In addition to having an emotional support dog for inmates, the RCC features a wide range of programs including art therapy, music therapy, adult basic education and life and employability skills training. Groups and clubs include a Reader’s Theater for inmates to read plays aloud, Poetry Group and Wellness Group.
The facility is made up of four dorms and houses approximately 540 inmates. Funding for the RCC and 104 additional positions to staff the specialized units was recommended by the Governor and fulfilled by the Legislature in 2017.
Officers within the unit have completed the American Correctional Association’s (ACA) Correctional Behavioral Health Certification (CBHC), better equipping them to securely supervise and aid in the treatment of these inmates.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 96,000 inmates and supervises nearly 166,000 offenders in the community.