Florida Department of Corrections

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Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Department of Corrections.jpg
Patch of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Agency overview
Formed 1921
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Florida, USA
Map of USA FL.svg
Map of Florida Department of Corrections's jurisdiction.
Size 65,795 square miles (170,410 km2)
Population 18,328,340 (2008 est.)[1]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Tallahassee, Florida
Agency executive Michael D. Crews, Secretary
Florida DOC Website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Florida Department of Corrections, established in 1821, operates state prisons in Florida. It has its headquarters in Tallahassee.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates the third largest state prison system in the United States. It is the largest agency in the State of Florida, with a budget of $2.3 billion, a little over 102,000 inmates incarcerated and another 150,000+ offenders on some type of community supervision.

The Florida Department of Corrections has 146 facilities statewide, including 62 prisons, 45 work/forestry camps, one treatment center, 33 work release centers and five road prisons. It has more than 27,000 employees, about three-quarters of which are either certified correctional officers or probation officers.[2]


Dade Correctional Institution/Homestead Correctional Institution

Florida's first penitentiary was opened in the U.S. arsenal property at Chattahoochee in 1868.[3]

From 1991 to 2010, major crime rate, per capita, dropped 52%. This was not anticipated. Major crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, burglary, aggravated assault, theft, auto theft and arson. This led, in turn, to fewer new convictions and imprisonments, leading to closure of facilities. The number of new annual admissions peaked at 42,000 in 2007. It dropped to 35,000 new admissions in 2011.[4]

In 2013, the Florida Corrections Secretary reported that 87% of all inmates would eventually be released back into society.[5]

Death row[edit]

Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution each have a male death row, while Lowell Annex has the female death row. Florida State Prison houses the state's execution chamber. Unlike other prisoners, condemned prisoners wear orange T-shirts. Condemned prisoners wear the same blue trousers worn by other prisoners.[6]

When Lowell Correctional Institution opened in 1956 as the Florida Correctional Institution, it housed the female death row.[7] The prison now known as Florida State Prison opened in 1961 as the East Annex; at the time of opening it began to house the execution chamber.[8] At some point the Broward Correctional Institution housed female death row inmates.[9] Lowell Annex opened in April 2002.[10] The female death row was moved to Lowell Annex in February 2003.[11]


In 2003, about one-third (32.8%) were returned to prison within three years of release.[12] This dropped to 27.6% for those freed in 2008.[5]


The state houses between 250-300 inmates under the age of 17 at various state prisons during any given time, with the majority spending their time at the Indian River Correctional Institution.[13] The budget was $240 million. This was $109 to $155 per day per offender.[14]


It costs on average $19,469 per year to incarcerate an inmate in Florida.[12][15] This includes $2.32 per day for 2,800 calorie meals.[16]

2011 Budget Cuts[edit]

In first quarter 2011, the state of Florida announced the closing of 6 institutions in order to save up to $30 million. Three prisons, two bootcamps, and a road prison were closed. Brevard Correctional Institution,[17] which is a youthful offender prison, Lowell Boot Camp, a youthful offender female boot camp, Sumter Basic Training Unit, a youthful offender male boot camp, Hendry Correctional Institution,[18] the female prison Hillsborough Correctional Institution,[19] and Tallahassee Road Prison were the institutions that were closed. No inmates were released as a result of the closing, and the employees of the closing institutions were offered jobs at other prisons. The institutions began moving inmates on April 1, 2011, and has finished as of June 30, 2011. Hillsborough Correctional Institution and Sumter BTU were not closed.[20][21]

Governor Rick Scott ordered a second group of prisons to be closed. The Florida Department of Corrections stated that aside from the obvious financial reasons, another reason for the closings is because of a declining prison population. The following prisons were closed:[22]

  • Broward Correctional Institution
  • Demilly Correctional Institution
  • Gainesville Correctional Institution
  • Hillsborough Correctional Institution (large amount of pleas caused closing to be postponed after the initial closing)[23]
  • Indian River Correctional Institution
  • New River Correctional Institution (both units)
  • River Junction Work Camp
  • Caryville Work Camp
  • Hendry Work Camp
  • Levy Forestry Camp


Former headquarters in Tallahassee

The headquarters of the agency are in the Doyle Carlton Building in downtown Tallahassee. Some offices are in the Southwood Office Complex in Tallahassee. Starting sometime after March 22, 2011, the department moved into its current headquarters and office buildings.[24]

At one time the agency had its headquarters at 2601 Blair Stone Road in Tallahassee.[25]

Fallen officers[edit]

Since the establishment of the Florida Department of Corrections, 24 correctional officers have died in the line of duty.[26]

Instances of Abuse[edit]

There have been several recorded cases of corruption and prisoner abuse in the Florida Department of Corrections.

In 2010, there was a 10-count federal indictment against sixteen individuals connected with the FDC, eleven of whom were corrections officers at the Glades Correctional Institution.[27] The charges included "nine counts of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to distribute." The indictment alleges that the defendants "allegedly agreed to transport and did in fact transport on multiple occasions what they believed to be multi-kilo quantities of cocaine from the undercover warehouses in Miami-Dade County to locations in West Palm Beach." and that the defendants allegedly received a combined total of $145,000 through the drug scheme.[28]

In 2007, the state faced lawsuits alleging "excessive as well as "malicious and sadistic" use of pepper spray," and "that its prisons subject too many inmates, including the mentally ill, to a prisoner 'warehousing' culture of unlawfully extreme isolation and deprivation, usually with little or no rehabilitation efforts to prevent recidivism." [29]

In 2010, two correctional officers at the Lancaster Correctional Institution[30] were charged with malicious battery and cruel or inhumane punishment after an inmate collapsed in the exercise yard during routine drills. An investigation discovered that the correctional officers forced the inmate to perform strenuous exercises in the sand, heat and provided no water breaks while denying his request for medical help and failed to call for emergency help after the inmate collapsed. The inmate was in critical condition, but has since recovered.[31][32][33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2008". US Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-12-25. 
  2. ^ Florida Department of Corrections About Us page
  3. ^ Florida DOCs Timeline page
  4. ^ Rosica, James (January 30, 2012). "Prisons result of wrong guess". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 8B. 
  5. ^ a b Menzel, Margie (February 5, 2013). "Fewer Fla. inmates are repeat offenders". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). pp. 10B. 
  6. ^ "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  7. ^ "Lowell Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  8. ^ "Florida State Prison." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  9. ^ "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. February 3, 2001. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  10. ^ "Lowell Annex." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  11. ^ "Broward Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  12. ^ a b "Quick Facts about the Florida Department of Corrections". Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  13. ^ Indian Correctional Institution
  14. ^ Reed, Matt (30 December 2010). "Locking up teens expensive, ineffective". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 1B. 
  15. ^ Associated Press (22 March 2009). "Prison's goal:Send inmates home for good". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 8B. 
  16. ^ Flemming, Paul (12 December 2010). "Public figures steal limelight". Melbourne, Florida: Florida Today. pp. 12B. 
  17. ^ Brevard Correctional Institution
  18. ^ Hendry Correctional Institution
  19. ^ Hillsborough Correctional Institution
  20. ^ Collette, Christopher. "Riverview facility among 6 Florida prisons to close by this summer." WTSP. March 15, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  21. ^ "6 Florida DOC Facilities to Close by This Summer." WCTV. March 16, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  22. ^ Florida Department of Corrections to Close Prisons, Work Camps
  23. ^ Bousquet, Steve. "Advocates make passionate plea for Hillsborough Correctional Institution to stay open". Tampa Bay Times. 
  24. ^ "Department of Corrections - Central Office is Moving." Florida Department of Corrections. March 22, 2011. Retrieved on July 12, 2011. "Department of Corrections 501 South Calhoun Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-2500 This is both the mailing address for all of Central Office and the physical address for the Carlton employees. The physical address for the Southwood offices is: 4070 Esplanade Way Tallahassee, FL 32311"
  25. ^ "Statement of Agency Organization and Operation." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on December 7, 2009. "2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500"
  26. ^ The Officer Down Memorial Page
  27. ^ Glades Correctional Institution
  28. ^ "State Correction Officers and Others Charged in Drug Trafficking Scheme Sixteen Charged in Undercover Corruption Investigation in Palm Beach County" (Press release). United States Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida. February 11, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  29. ^ Padgett, Tim (October 17, 2007). "What's Wrong With Florida's Prisons?". Time Inc. Retrieved March 16, 2011. 
  30. ^ Lancaster Correctional Institution
  31. ^ "Two Prison Guards Charged in Florida Inmate Collapse". Wctv.tv. 2010-11-30. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  32. ^ Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau. "State probes handling of prison inmate who collapsed during mid-day exercise | Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  33. ^ Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau (2010-12-01). "Florida prison guards face felony charges over collapse of inmate | Tampa Bay Times". Tampabay.com. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 

External links[edit]