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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Florida Corrections:  Centuries of Progress

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Inmate population
December 31, 1941:

An amendment to the Florida Constitution creates the Florida Parole and Probation Commission, which is given the responsibility for granting paroles, supervising state probationers and parolees, as well as providing investigative services to the Courts. The three member board replaces the existing State Board of Pardons, which had been chaired by the Governor.

For the first time in the history of the United States, the Merit System is used in the selection of members of the Parole Commission. On October 7, 1941, following examinations and selection by the Board of Commissioners of State Institutions, appointments are made to the first Florida Parole Commission. The Commission paroles 625 persons from the State Prison System during its first full year of operation. During this same time frame, the courts places 335 individuals on probation.

The Tallahassee Road Prison is established.

Large chain-link fence cages with bloodhounds
1940 photo of the dog kennel at Raiford. Dogs are used to track and capture escaped prisoners. Much later, New River C.I. East Unit will be built on this site.

Inmates sitting a sewing machines with large spools of thread.
Shirt factory.

Approx. 20 men in dark uniforms, two in white, and person in center has white hat.
1941 photo of the official staff at the Florida State Prison at Raiford. Leonard Chapman is in the center of the photo (wearing the light hat).


Inmate population
December 31, 1942:

Officer Uniforms

This picture was taken in 1942 and features a man who was a "Tower Guard" at what was then referred to as "The State Farm" or "Raiford." He later worked inside the prison overseeing inmates who worked on the grounds. He was paid $50 a month, which also entitled him to an (inmate) "yard man" and (inmate) housekeeper. All his laundry was done in the prison and utilities were included in his salary.

Officer Uniforms


Inmate population
December 31, 1943:

To aid the war effort, inmates address and mail ration books to Florida citizens. They also contribute $12,000 toward the purchase of war bonds.

Stack of four old books
Inmates mailed ration books to Florida citizens

Four buildings, fenced.
State Road Camp No. 30, Callahan, Florida.
Inmates leaving camp for work.


Inmate population
December 31, 1944:

The U.S. involvement in World War II (1941 through 1945) impacted the prison system as noted below by Leonard Chapman in the Twenty-eight Biennial Report of the Prison Division of the Department of Agriculture of the State of Florida for the Years 1943 and 1944:

Effects of War

The past two years have shown the effect that war can have on prisons and prison management. The population has dropped considerably, due doubtless to the lack of idleness and poverty. There has been no idleness except wilful idleness and no poverty except wilful poverty; therefore there has been little crime.

A number of the members of the staff have been called into military service and there has been considerable difficulty in securing materials needed in the operation of the prison. However all the effort of the prison has been devoted to helping the war effort in every way possible and it is good to note that the prisoners have made successful contributions. Blood bank, pulp wood, distribution of ration books to the whole state and now the making of camouflage nets for the military are some of the work that has been done and still is being done.

Discipline in the prison has been good in the main. Few internal difficulties have been presented. Finances are well within the budget in spite of rather heavy expenditures at Belle Glade where the sugar mill has been built and water provided from the City of Belle Glade as well as other capital investments.

The prison is not unmindful of the prospect of a rapid increase in the prison population immediately after the war and such plans as are practicable are under way to prepare for this increase.

Respectfully submitted,
L.F. Chapman,


Inmate population
December 31, 1945:

The wearing of leg irons is eliminated.

Flag at half staff with DC BadgeOfficer William Henry Hunt is shot by an escaped prisoner on June 8, 1945, and dies of his wounds on August 28, 1945. He was stationed at the road prison in Perry, Florida.

Eleven men sitting on wooden bench in front of block building with tin roof.
Escambia County Camp No. 5.
Barracks and camp personnel.

Large, two story white building with central entrance
Prison hospital at the State Prison Farm, Raiford.

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