April 1, 2011
For More Information
Contact: Gretl Plessinger
Eliminate Inmate Smoking
To save taxpayers money and improve prison safety, the Department is banning inmate smoking and giving inmates 180 days to kick the habit. The Department will offer smoking cessation assistance to inmates.
Streamlining the Agency
The Department announced its prison consolidation plan, which will save $30.8 million annually and result in $25 million in further cost avoidance for Florida taxpayers. This plan will not result in the early release of inmates. The Department will close three prisons, two boot camp programs and a road prison. Employees will be afforded the opportunity to fill vacancies at other facilities. The bulk of the cost savings will be generated through employee attrition.
Welcome New General Counsel
Jennifer Parker, an attorney with almost two decades of experience in state government and the state court system, was named the Department's new General Counsel on March 4, 2011. Parker had worked at the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice since 1993, working her way up from Senior Attorney, to Chief of Delinquency, to Assistant General Counsel and finally in 2003 to General Counsel, where she remained until accepting her current position with FDOC. A University of Florida graduate, Parker has a B.S in Business Administration in addition to her law degree.
Thirty eight prison facilities are harvesting their spring crops, everything from cabbage, greens, broccoli and carrots. So far more than 700,000 pounds of crops have been harvested to feed to Florida inmates resulting in lower food costs.
Hosted Judge Mounts Prison Tour
The Judge Marvin Mounts Prison Tour is held annually to educate Judges and lawyers about the prison system. Conducted at no cost to the State, this years tour was held March 9 and 10 at Loxahatchee Road Prison Indian River, Lake, Sumter, Lowell and Union Correctional Institutions, Reception and Medical Center and Florida State Prison.
Prudential Davis Productivity Awards
Florida Department of Corrections employees won four 2011 Prudential-Davis Productivity Awards for innovations including hydroponic gardens, more efficient laundry and food services and a computer application designed to enhance lock and key security. Annual savings ranged from $33,000 on food preparation costs to over $9,000 a year on the cost of inmate linens and pillowcases.
Visits to Incarcerated Parents
Homestead Correctional Institution, Okeechobee Correctional Institution and The Service Network for Children of Inmates hosted special visit days for children and their incarcerated parents. The network unites children whose parents are incarcerated by arranging bus trips so that the children and their caregivers can visit their incarcerated mothers and fathers. The program helps inmates establish and maintain relationships with their children. As a result of these visits, the inmates and families have been able to open up the lines of communication and the children are able to see that even though their parents are not present in their daily lives, they still care and want to have a positive impact on things that affect them.
The first annual Doggie Dash was held in Tallahassee. The 5k run was developed and organized by Department employees during non working hours to raise money for Department tracking dog teams and inmate dog obedience programs. The event raised enough money to purchase 5 GPS units @ $600 each for canine tracking teams and $3,000 for the inmate dog obedience programs. Following the run, hundreds of people watched a demonstration of the Taylor CI tracking team simulating the search for a lost child, educating the community about what the tracking teams do on a daily basis to protect the public.
The following facilities successfully completed their audit for accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. Accreditation by the Commission ensures that our correctional facilities are meeting national recognized standards and are operating at the highest level of excellence. The facilities are: