January 18, 2017
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is proud to announce an increase in educational credentials awarded during the 2015-16 fiscal year. A total of 5,386 credentials were awarded, which is an increase of more than 1,300 over the previous fiscal year.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “Educational and training programs are critical to helping better prepare inmates for employment and successful reentry into the community. I am proud of the inmates who’ve participated and our staff and community partners who work diligently to provide these services.”
During the 2015-16 fiscal year, both GED test credentials and industry certifications awarded more than doubled over the previous fiscal year. The industry certifications include many disciplines such as electronic systems technology, web development, masonry, carpentry, air conditioning and refrigeration technology, wastewater treatment, electrical and plumbing. These industry-recognized certifications allow inmates the opportunity to learn specific skills and abilities currently needed in the workforce.
Since 2011, FDC has awarded more than 22,000 educational credentials to inmates. The educational opportunities have also expanded to include online high school diplomas, additional industry certifications and, most recently, courses leading to an associate degree that will begin this month in partnership with Florida Gateway College.
FDC now offers 55 educational credentials in more than 60 institutions. The goal of these programs is to better prepare inmates for a career upon release and, ultimately, reduce recidivism. For each additional grade level of education achieved, an inmate’s likelihood of recidivating decreases by nearly four percent.
To learn more about the educational credentials offered by FDC, please visit the Division of Development website at www.dc.state.fl.us/development-menu.html.
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.