February 02, 2023
The Framework for Freedom Budget Reaffirms Governor DeSantis' Historic Commitment to the Florida Department of Corrections
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis released his budget recommendations for the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC). These budget recommendations further emphasize his unprecedented support for public safety.
“Governor DeSantis’ recommendations further the tremendous momentum from last session; to address staffing, recruitment and retention. I want to thank Governor DeSantis for supporting the men and women working in corrections. They serve an important role in our law-and-order state by keeping dangerous criminals off the street and Florida communities safe,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon. “The Governor’s recommendations will provide the continuity of resources required to perform our public safety mission while also addressing the Department’s priorities of staffing, programming, and infrastructure.”
Governor DeSantis’ FDC Budget Recommendations Include:
$107.2 Million for a Comprehensive Pay Plan
The pay plan will increase starting salary pay from $20/hour to $23/hour for correctional officers, inspectors and probation officers. The plan will also address pay compression between the various ranks.
$1.1 Million to Provide Pay Parity for Maintenance Staff
Maintenance staff are essential to the operation of Florida’s prison system. These staff were not included in last year’s comprehensive pay plan, and current salaries prevent the Department from retaining or recruiting the professionals required to fill these critical positions.
$3.4 Million to Address the Retention of Experienced Officers
This is a continuation of the retention plan approved in Fiscal Year 22-23. This successful plan ensured senior officers were paid for their experience and new officers had an incentive to continue their career.
$33.6 Million for Fixed Capital Outlay (FCO) Improvements to Address Immediate Needs
Every dollar associated with this recommendation is directly linked to three specific critical categories: safety and security of the public, staff, and inmates; current dangerous living and working conditions; and failing infrastructure. Immediate needs include new construction, repairs and renovations, environmental deficiencies and security improvements.
$27.5 Million to Increase Inmate Welfare Trust Fund Authority
The authority over these funds will increase educational programming, substance use treatment, improve inmate health, decrease inmate idleness that leads to violence, and provide opportunities for rehabilitation and restoration of inmates prior to release. This recommendation also includes $7.5M in FCO.
$7.4 Million to Replace Outdated Fleet Vehicles to Maintain Safe Transportation
FDC transports inmates across Florida highways daily in vehicles that exceed lifecycle standards. Of the nearly 3,000 vehicles in our fleet, 67% exceed lifecycle standards thus needing replacement to ensure safe operation.
$2.3 Million to Provide State Issued Firearms to Correctional Probation Officers
Funding a statewide plan to provide all certified Correctional Probation Officers (CPOs) issued weapons, holsters and other public safety equipment. Providing CPOs necessary equipment will increase officer safety, operational efficiencies and training consistency.
$21.5 Million to Continue Offender Based Information System Modernization
This is year two of a five-year project to modernize OBIS which is the primary data repository for inmate management, classification, work assignments, disciplinary information and custody status.
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.