Florida Department of Corrections Incarceration Process- Programs

PROGRAMS

There are a number of programs being offered in the facility and they are grouped into different classifications.  Depending on the result of your assessment during the processing stage, you will be given a recommendation as to which permanent facility you will be transferred to, plus programs that you can take part.  You will be further evaluated by classification officers to learn which team should you be transferred to.

Your Gain Level

One of the most asked items by newly transferred inmates is their gain level, as this helps in identifying which assignments are more appropriate for you.  A gain time is when you get the opportunity to earn a certain point of reduction of your sentence imposed by the court if your charges are eligible for the program. This program has been introduced in the Florida Department of Corrections since 1869 to encourage inmates to behave satisfactorily while on the premises, which promotes motivation to do well and be active in the facility programs and activities.  If you want to learn more about the details of this program, you can read more through the official Florida Department of Corrections Website.

Your Custody Level

On the other hand, custody level comprises of your criminal history, length of your sentence, the offense committed, any escape history, and the like.  These pieces of information were taken from the Custody Assessment and Reclassification System that segregates inmates based on their risk to the community, staff, co-inmates, or to the department itself.  Any additional information about custody can be found at Rule 33-601.210 FAC .

5 Classifications:

o   Maximum – inmates under death sentence

o   Close – inmates under armed direct supervision of facility officers while inside the perimeter or outside the secure area

o   Medium – inmates who can work at the camp within the secure perimeter, but have to be under armed supervision of outside work tasks

o   A minimum – inmate who can work outside the secure perimeter, except the placement of the community residential facility

o   Community – inmates who are placed in a community residential facility in preparation to their re-entry to the community

Below are the programs that are carried out in the facility that you can expect after your assessment:

Furloughs

If you are classified as Minimum or Community, and you have met some additional criteria required, you can claim for furlough upon the go signal of the Jail warden.  This can be applied if you are to visit a dying or death of a relative, or other important reasons.

Placements

After you have completed the orientation and assessment during the processing phase, you will then be transferred to a permanent facility with special programs available for you.

Job Assignments

Even if you are confined to the facility within a period of time, your previous work history, and your skills can be used for you to have an OJT (On-the-job training).  You are unable to decline any work tasks given to you, and you are expected to perform well.

Visitation

You should secure a list of approved visitors under your name, which can be updated at any time through your Classification Officer.

You can accept visitors regularly every weekend and holidays such as:

  •        New Year’s Day
  •        Martin Luther King
  •        Memorial Day
  •        Labor Day
  •        Thanksgiving Day (and the day after)
  •        Christmas Day

 

Any other day of the visit of your relative or friend can be arranged through the Warden’s approval.  Remember that Visitation is a privilege that can be extended to you, but it is definitely not a right that you can demand as a detainee.

Medical / Health Services

During your confinement term, any medical, dental, and mental situations are going to be supported and continuously evaluated by the facility.  You have to communicate any health condition to the staff and schedule for regular sick calls through inmate requests.  In cases where you need an emergency assistance, you have to communicate it well with the facility health staff for immediate assistance.

Law Library

This facility is usually available at major institutions that provide research materials, books, and other related services.  There are also clerks to assist you with your legal needs like notaries and preparation of legal documents.

You should be working on your legal paperwork during your off-duty time only, but you may communicate with your institutional officer should there be any legal needs that you are required to work so that you can request for an additional time for it.

Library

Most of the inmates would have to access the library with complete services and materials that you need.  There are designated schedules to follow to ensure that everyone gets the chance to use this facility.   Even inmates under close supervision or under administrative confinement can avail the library services through a special arrangement, as they cannot physically walk in the library facility area.

Education

You may contact the Education Department if you’re interested enrolling in school for your academic or special education.  You just need to undergo qualifying tests like TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) for eligibility.  Either you want to learn and study, or would like to participate in teaching, there is surely a space for learning even under confinement.

Here are the typical classifications available:

  •        Academic Education
  •        Special Education
  •        Vocational Training
  •        Self-Betterment and Wellness

Youthful Offenders

If you are sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act, or you are determined to be qualified as a youthful offender, you will be housed in a certain area of the facility that is more appropriate for you and your needs, especially the special programs for youths to help you to successfully improve yourself and provides an opportunity for your re-entry to the community.

Community Work Release

If you’re eligible and granted with this release, you will get the opportunity to earn through paid employment, which is typically offered if you’re already classified to be at Community Custody.