October 20, 2017
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is proud to announce the expansion of Faith and Character Residential Programs in institutions across the state.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “The Department is focused on providing a rehabilitative environment within our institutions and reducing recidivism. Programming offered in our Faith and Character dorms surrounds inmates in a positive environment and helps better prepare them to become successful, productive members of their local communities upon release. The overwhelming interest from our inmates in these programs is encouraging.”
This expansion will include 17 new locations allowing greater access to the voluntary program, resulting in a total of 6,500 Faith and Character dorm slots at 34 institutions across the state. The program is open to all faiths and provides inmates the opportunity to live in a dorm with other inmates similarly focused on personal growth and character development. The programming motivates positive behavioral change through a variety of activities and classes including victim awareness, anger management, communication, employability skills, addressing criminal thinking, parenting skills, journaling and personal finance.
The Department integrates citizen volunteers into the programming to mentor and teach inmates. Following program completion, inmates may choose to act as mentors themselves in the general population setting where they lead by example and provide peer support.
The first Faith and Character Residential Program was opened in 1999 at Tomoka Correctional Institution.
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.