February 7, 2020
Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Creation of the
Direct support organization will focus on leveraging public/private partnerships to provide re-entry programs
Jacksonville, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced the creation of the Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence (FFCE). This Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) direct support organization will bring together public and private partners to increase investment in re-entry programs and workforce training.
“Reducing recidivism, expanding career readiness training and re-entry programs are a vital component of the public safety mission of the Florida Department of Corrections,” said Governor DeSantis. “We have to do more to get inmates ready for release – ready to be employees and to be productive members of our communities. The Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence will bring public and private sector partners together to take our efforts to the next level.”
“Today’s announcement is an exciting one – not only for FDC and the impacts it will have on our rehabilitative efforts - but exciting for Florida,” said FDC Secretary Mark S. Inch. “The majority of the approximately 95,000 inmates in custody will complete their sentences and will become returning citizens; in fact, 85% of the current inmate population will be released. FDC cannot do this alone. Local communities, businesses, social services providers, faith and volunteer organizations, educational providers and institutions and local governments, must be active partners in this process.”
“We are so thankful for the time and attention that Governor DeSantis and Department of Corrections Secretary Inch are giving to the important issue of re-entry,” said Operation New Hope Founder and CEO Kevin Gay. “Operation New Hope is poised and ready to expand our Ready4Work program at additional locations around the state to meet the reentry needs of Florida.”
During the next year, approximately 30,000 inmates will re-enter our communities. Providing an organized and streamlined transition from prison to community is essential for rehabilitation and integration.
Working with businesses, non-profit organizations and community leaders, FFCE is designed to promote innovative and effective career readiness and community re-entry programs within Florida correctional institutions. It will enhance opportunities for Florida inmate re-entry, job training programs, online and classroom academic training and wellness programs. To support programs and re-entry efforts, the Foundation will unite public and private entities to publicize needs, seek resources and donations and encourage philanthropic giving.
Several initial board members of the Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence were also announced by Governor DeSantis.
“We’ve assembled a broad cross-section of dedicated individuals who have generously agreed to lend their expertise and support to this effort,” said Governor DeSantis. “I thank each of them for their service and sacrifice. Together, we can increase the likelihood of a streamlined transition from prison to community, which makes every Floridian safer.”
Florida Foundation for Correctional Excellence initial Board Members:
- Denver Stutler, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Submergent Technologies
- David Hart, Executive Vice President, Florida Chamber of Commerce
- Erik Dellenbeck, Director, Florida Faith-Based and Community-Based Advisory Council
- Jon McGavin, Area Manager, Grande Lakes
- Doug Deason, Philanthropist
- Mark Reynolds, National Director, Trinity Broadcast Network
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 95,000 inmates and supervises nearly 164,000 offenders in the community.