December 9, 2021
Contact: FDC Communications
Governor Ron DeSantis’ Freedom First Budget Recommendations Invests in Officers and Public Safety
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis released his budget recommendations for the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC). These budget recommendations invest in the Department’s most important resource – the officers who serve Florida as public servants, committed to public safety.
“I want to thank Governor DeSantis for his recognition and prioritization of the officers across Florida who selflessly and honorably serve as corrections professionals. The Governor’s recommendations address our biggest challenge and looks to the future as we determine the path for Florida’s corrections system,” said Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Ricky Dixon. “The budget recommendation also takes a historic step to reinvest in the education, substance use treatment and wellbeing of the incarcerated with the goal to restore lives and create a pathway for returning to their community as productive contributing citizens.”
Governor DeSantis’ FDC Budget Recommendations Include:
$5 Million for a Prison Modernization and Staffing Analysis
Funding for a multi-disciplinary study to define the economic and demographic trends and conditions in Florida over the next several decades. The study will make comprehensive recommendations for efficient and cost-effective approaches to meet the challenges facing the corrections system including the modernization of infrastructure, staffing, and the incarceration, rehabilitation and restoration of inmates.
$124.2 Million for a Pay Plan
Correctional officers, probation officers and inspectors are an essential part of the Governor’s plan to improve recruitment and retention at FDC. The proposed pay plan brings the baseline salary for our certified staff to $20 per hour.
Budget Authority to Complete the 8.5-Hour Shift Transition
Governor DeSantis recognizes the challenges of long, sometimes unpredictable work hours for correctional officers and strongly supports FDC’s complete transition to 8.5-hour shifts at all state correctional institutions. Following the recommendation of national experts, shorter shifts will reduce staff attrition, use of force incidents, contraband and violent incidents. It will also support better work-life balance for officers.
$27.5 Million in Trust Fund Authority for the Inmate Welfare Trust Fund
The authority over these funds will increase educational programming and substance use treatment, improve inmate health and well-being, decrease inmate idleness and violence and provide opportunities for rehabilitation and restoration of inmates prior to release.
$2.3 Million for Community Corrections Statewide Firearms Transition
Funding a statewide plan to provide all certified Correctional Probation Officers (CPOs) FDC-issued weapons, holsters and other public safety equipment. Providing CPOs necessary equipment will increase officer safety, operational efficiencies and training consistency.
$15.1 Million for Offender Based Information System (OBIS) Modernization
Begins the modernization of the OBIS which is the primary data repository for inmate management, classification, work assignments, disciplinary information and custody status. Originally designed in 1981, this system is indispensable to FDC’s operations.
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.