Florida Department of Corrections

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Florida Department of Corrections
Patch of the Florida Department of Corrections
Agency overview
Formed 1978 [1]
Preceding agency Florida Department of Offender Rehabilitation [2]
Employees 23,525 [3]
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.)[4]
General nature
Operational structure
Headquarters Tallahassee, Florida
Agency executive Julie Jones, Secretary
Florida DOC Website
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Florida Department of Corrections 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 $2.4 billion, a little over 100,000 inmates incarcerated and another 115,000+ offenders on some type of community supervision.

The Florida Department of Corrections has 143 facilities statewide, including 43 major institutions, 33 work camps, 15 Annexes, 20 work release centers and 6 road prisons/forestry camps. It has more than 23,000 employees, about three-quarters of which are either certified correctional officers or probation officers.[5]


Florida's first penitentiary was opened in the U.S. arsenal property at Chattahoochee in 1868.[6]

From 1991 to 2010, major crime rate, per capita, dropped 52%. 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.[7]

In 2013, the Florida Corrections Secretary reported that 87% of all inmates would eventually be released back into society.[8]

Incarceration is determined by the judge on the basis of a point system. On various scoresheets, if the criminal or crime scores above 44, imprisonment is mandatory; under 22, the convict may not be imprisoned. Between the two, judges have discretion.[9]

Death row

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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.[10]

When Lowell Correctional Institution opened in 1956 as the Florida Correctional Institution, it housed the female death row.[11] 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.[12] At some point the Broward Correctional Institution housed female death row inmates.[13] Lowell Annex opened in April 2002.[14] The female death row was moved to Lowell Annex in February 2003.[15]


In 2003, about one-third (32.8%) were returned to prison within three years of release.[16] This dropped to 27.6% for those freed in 2008.[8]


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.[17] The budget was $240 million. This was $109 to $155 per day per offender.[18]


It costs on average $19,469 per year to incarcerate an inmate in Florida.[16][19] This includes $2.32 per day for 2,800 calorie meals.[20]

2011 Budget Cuts

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,[21] 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,[22] the female prison Hillsborough Correctional Institution,[23] 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.[24][25]

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:[26]

  • 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)[27]
  • Indian River Correctional Institution
  • New River Correctional Institution (both units)
  • River Junction Work Camp
  • Caryville Work Camp
  • Hendry Work Camp
  • Levy Forestry Camp


The organization of the Department of Corrections is established in accordance with Sections 20.315 and 20.04, Florida Statutes. According to Section 20.315, Florida Statutes, the head of the Department of Corrections is the Secretary of Corrections. The Secretary is appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The Secretary is responsible for: planning, coordinating, and managing the corrections system of the state in accordance with chapter 944 and 945, Florida Statutes; ensuring that the programs and services of the Department are administered in accordance with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, with established program standards, and consistent with legislative intent; and identifying the need for and recommend funding for the secure and efficient operation of the state correctional system.

The Deputy Secretary, Chief of Staff, General Counsel and Inspector General are appointed by the Secretary. They are directly responsible to the Secretary and serve at the pleasure of the Secretary.

The Secretary is authorized to appoint assistant Secretaries, Directors, or other such persons that he or she deems are necessary to accomplish the mission and goals of the Department, including, but not limited to, the following areas of program responsibility: Assistant Secretary for Institutions, Assistant Secretary for Community Corrections, Chief of Staff,Deputy Secretary of Corrections, and Secretary's Office.


As of June 30, 2012, the Florida Department of Corrections (DC) had a total of 23,525. The department had 17,498 certified criminal justice officers in institutions or probation/parole offices.

  15,280  Certified employees in institutions 
      43  Correctional Officer Colonels 
      85  Correctional Officer Majors  
     298  Correctional Officer Captains
     426  Correctional Officer Lieutenants
   4,046  Correctional Officer Sergeants 
  10,382  Correctional Officers
    2218  Non-institutional Staff
     137  Correctional Inspectors
   2,081  Correctional Probation Officers 

Ranks and insignia

Rank Insignia
Correctional Officer Colonel
Colonel Gold.png
Correctional Officer Major
US-O4 insignia.svg
Correctional Officer Captain
Captain insignia gold.svg
Correctional Officer Lieutenant
US-O1 insignia.svg
Correctional Officer Sergeant
FL - Highway Patrol Sergeant.png
Correctional Officer
Correctional Officer (trainee)



Doyle Carleton Building, current headquarters
File:2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee.JPG
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.[30]

At one time the agency had its headquarters at 2601 Blair Stone Road in Tallahassee.[31]

Fallen officers

Since the establishment of the Florida Department of Corrections, 24 correctional officers have died in the line of duty.[32]


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

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." [33]

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.[34] 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.[35]

In 2010, two correctional officers at the Lancaster Correctional Institution[36] 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.[37][38][39]

Press reports indicate that in June 2012, a mentally-ill prisoner was forced into a locked shower by staff at Dade Correctional Institution. After more than an hour in the hot water, Darren Rainey died from his injuries. The investigation is not yet complete. [40]

See also


  1. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/timeline/1976-1979a.html
  2. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/timeline/1976-1979a.html
  3. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/1112/personnel.html
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  5. Florida Department of Corrections About Us page
  6. Florida DOCs Timeline page
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  10. "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  11. "Lowell Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  12. "Florida State Prison." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  13. "Death Row Fact Sheet." Florida Department of Corrections. February 3, 2001. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
  14. "Lowell Annex." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 15, 2010.
  15. "Broward Correctional Institution." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on August 31, 2010.
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  17. Indian Correctional Institution
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  21. Brevard Correctional Institution
  22. Hendry Correctional Institution
  23. Hillsborough Correctional Institution
  24. Collette, Christopher. "Riverview facility among 6 Florida prisons to close by this summer." WTSP. March 15, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  25. "6 Florida DOC Facilities to Close by This Summer." WCTV. March 16, 2011. Retrieved on August 26, 2011.
  26. Florida Department of Corrections to Close Prisons, Work Camps
  27. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  28. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/annual/1112/personnel.html
  29. Rank Structure
  30. "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"
  31. "Statement of Agency Organization and Operation." Florida Department of Corrections. Retrieved on December 7, 2009. "2601 Blair Stone Road Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500"
  32. The Officer Down Memorial Page
  33. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found.
  34. Glades Correctional Institution
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  36. Lancaster Correctional Institution
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  40. Behind bars, a brutal and unexplained death; by Julie K Brown, 14 October 2014, Miami Herald

External links