STATE AND NATION/LAW ENFORCEMENT NEWS
GOV. RICK SCOTT: ADDITIONAL CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, SHORTER SHIFTS AT FDC FACILITIES WILL INCREASE SAFETY
Governor Scott Endorses FDC’s Request for an additional 734 full-time staff
January 12, 2016 4:29 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will support the Department of Corrections’ (FDC) amended legislative budget request for an additional 734 full-time positions. If approved by the Florida Legislature, FDC will begin the transition to eight-hour shifts from current 12-hour shifts for correctional officers. FDC submitted this amended request to the Florida Legislature last Friday.
Governor Rick Scott said, “Our recommendation to increase FDC’s budget by $82 million this year, and these additions in staffing, will help us continue to reduce recidivism in our state while increasing safety at all Florida correctional facilities. The safety and security of our prisons is incredibly important and Secretary Jones’ recommendation for additional officers will make our institutions safer for inmates, agency staff and communities. I look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure we add these important positions at the Department of Corrections.”
Last year, FDC underwent three separate reviews conducted by correctional facilities operations experts. The National Institute of Corrections, the Association of State Correctional Administrators, and consulting firm of CGL contracted through OPPAGA at the Senate’s request, conducted extensive reviews focused on security policy and operations. In each of the three final reports, the experts identified issues and concerns related to use of 12-hour shifts. All three entities indicated that the Department should return to eight-hour shifts.
Secretary Julie Jones said, “Many of the critical issues facing our Department are a result of outcomes caused by our current 12-hour model. Poor staff retention, increasing overtime expenditures, introduction of contraband, and staffing shortages are all due in some part to the officer fatigue and burnout associated with 12-hour shifts. The Department's request adds more officers to our institutions, creating a more stable and positive environment for our employees and inmates.”
The Department’s amended legislative budget request is available HERE.