September 26, 2016
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If you are reporting on Bridges of America, please use the following statement from Secretary Julie Jones:
“Contrary to recent statements made by Bridges of America, the Department is not ending our longstanding partnership with Bridges but rather is inviting them to join with us to expand our community work release and substance abuse treatment opportunities in Orlando.
“This is an exciting time for FDC and I want make it very clear that we are not limiting services or the number of individuals served. In fact, we are soliciting bids for a contract in Orange County that increases the number of work release beds and substance abuse care.
“Today, more than 60% of the Department’s substance use disorder budget is dedicated to treating only a small number of individuals. We know we can do better. We want to provide more services to treat an even greater number of individuals with the same resources. That is why, last week we announced the launch of Spectrum statewide, and with it the reshaping of services being offered to inmates.
“Our data has shown we need to adapt, to offer the right services at the right time in a person’s journey through incarceration. Expanding substance abuse treatment at all levels of incarceration helps us treat the greatest number of inmates who are at the highest risk to reoffend. Preparing these inmates with the proper tools to fight their substance abuse issues, allows us to prepare them for successful transition into community work release.
“Every action we take is strategic and advances our mission to serve Florida’s most challenging population by offering them the greatest chance to succeed.”
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 98,000 inmates and supervises nearly 140,000 offenders in the community.