August 11, 2017
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) highlighted the recent launch of the Scenic Room project. This program is designed to reduce stress and relieve anxiety among inmates through the use of an equipped room that simulates a nature setting.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “We are committed to discovering new and innovative ways to improve the safety of our institutions and the overall wellness of our inmates. The Scenic Room is a promising new program that researchers believe will ultimately help alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety that can sometimes occur in the prison environment. Reducing these stressors can help create a safer environment for staff and inmates.”
The Scenic Room is an evidence based, out-of-cell environment that’s painted blue and immerses an inmate in videos of nature and its associated sounds. Inmates can select from a variety of nature imagery films including beach, mountain and desert settings. Participation is voluntary and is coordinated by correctional officers upon an inmate’s request.
The program is currently piloted to women at Lowell Annex and men at Suwannee Correctional Institution and Dade Correctional Institution.
The Scenic Room was inspired by the success of a similar project curated by the Oregon Department of Corrections, the Nature Imagery in Prisons Project (NIPP). The NIPP took place at the Snake River Correctional Institution in Oregon.
As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs 24,000 members statewide, incarcerates approximately 97,000 inmates and supervises nearly 167,000 offenders in the community.