March 28, 2020
Contact: FDC Communications
Secretary's Message to Families
Dear Friends, Family and Loved Ones of Incarcerated Individuals,
In this difficult time facing our nation, there are many families experiencing uncertainty about what is to come in the days and weeks ahead. Having a loved one in prison only adds to that uncertainty. I wanted to take a moment to write to you, the family and friends of our incarcerated individuals, to let you know steps we are taking and where you can go to stay updated on our efforts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are doing all we can to keep our inmates, offenders, staff, community and our families safe. As we work through this public health emergency, please know our goals for your loved ones’ safety are the same as yours. FDC is closely aligned with the CDC Interim Guidance on Management of COVID-19 in Correctional and Detention Facilities. We have staff working around the clock to meet on best practices, secure necessary supplies and make decisions based on the evolving situation. We have taken many serious steps already to prevent the introduction of this virus to our inmate population.
Just a few of the measures we have taken include practicing and enforcing social distancing during dining and recreation, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures, waiving co-pays for inmates with respiratory illness, and – most importantly, severely limiting entry into our facilities while carefully screening all those who are allowed in. These are a few examples of a much larger and vigorous response.
Our staff are in constant communication with the Florida Department of Health and we are prepared to handle any potential cases of COVID-19 within our institutions and ensure inmates receive appropriate medical care.
As more developments unfold over the coming weeks, we will continue to deliver information to you and the public and provide updates as they become available. Our website and social media accounts will have the most up to date information available, and I encourage you to follow the agency on Facebook or Twitter and check our Newsroom frequently.
Please continue contact with your loved ones and offer them encouragement. Continue providing support and reassurance, just as I expect them to provide this same level of support and reassurance to you. Your compassion is essential to their mental health and ongoing successful rehabilitation and restoration.
Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections
As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.