Florida Department of Corrections Banner, Secretary Mark S. Inch


Press Release

December 30, 2022

FDC Celebrates Unprecedented Year of Success, Innovation and Support

Agency Announces 2022 Accomplishments, Successful Program Initiatives, Community and Nationwide Support

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Secretary Ricky Dixon highlighted accomplishments the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) made in 2022 to prioritize staffing while upholding FDC’s commitment to public safety.

“With backing from Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, we have had a tremendous outpouring of support for our front-line staff,” said Secretary Ricky Dixon. “This year marked an unprecedented year of success, and we are in a prime position to create further growth and opportunities for advancing Florida’s correctional system. I appreciate our staff for their commitment to our mission and their perseverance during our recovery, which has allowed these incredible accomplishments to occur.”

Received Unprecedented Pay Raises and Retention Bonuses for Officers

  • With the support of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, Correctional Officers, Correctional Probation Officers, and Inspectors received historic pay raises and retention increases based on years of service.
  • The officer raise brought the starting salary to $41,600 ($20 an hour), enabling the Department to better recruit and retain the future of Florida’s correctional professionals.
  • The additional resources reduced the correctional officer vacancy rate and enabled the agency to hire significantly more staff each month, when compared to the previous year.

More information: Governor DeSantis’ Freedom First Budget Provides Unprecedented Support for Officers

Recognized Nationally for Compliance with PREA and American Correctional Association (ACA) Standards

  • Became one of only eight state correctional systems nationally to receive the distinguished Lucy Webb Hayes Award at the ACA’s 152nd Congress of Correction for achieving full Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) compliance at every correctional institution, and ACA accreditation agencywide.
  • Maintained long-held tradition of adhering to standards developed by the ACA while evaluating operations against national standards, remedying deficiencies and upgrading the quality of correctional programs.

More information: FDC Recognized Nationally for Compliance with PREA and ACA Standards

Received Nationwide Recognition of Leadership through the 2022 ACA Elections

  • Following a successful campaign focused on maintaining a practical approach with innovative solutions, Secretary Ricky Dixon was elected to serve as President of the ACA in 2025 following a two-year term as president-elect.
  • Assistant Deputy Secretary of Community Corrections Joe Winkler was elected to serve on the ACA Board of Governors.
  • Director of Programs and Re-Entry Patrick Mahoney was elected to serve on the ACA Delegate Assembly.
  • Correctional Services Consultant Racheal Hoffman-Ots from the Bureau of Security Operations was elected to serve on the ACA Commission on Accreditation for Corrections.

More information: Florida Department of Corrections Leaders Assume National Roles in the American Correctional Association (state.fl.us)

Continued to Lead the Nation in Natural Disaster Response and Recovery

  • Successfully evacuated and relocated several major correctional institutions prior to various natural disasters (wildfires, hurricanes, widespread flooding) while maintaining one-hundred percent inmate accountability, without jeopardizing public safety.
  • Ensured continuity of probation operations and offender accountability during community evacuations.
  • Worked collaboratively with the Florida Department of Emergency Management to swiftly identify and assess security related damages requiring immediate repair.

Ensured Public Safety and Offender Compliance in Florida’s Communities

  • Conducted over 900,000 contacts with offenders on supervision in the community including 138,000 residential searches, 35,000 curfew compliance checks and 5,500 residential searches.
  • Collected $49 million in court ordered payments, including $24 million in restitution, fines and court costs.
  • Tracked nearly 500,000 hours of court ordered community service work by offenders on probation.
  • Launched the first mobile probation bus in Palm Beach County. Traveling to community locations throughout the county allowed offenders to report on site as opposed to traveling to offices, thereby reducing violations of probation for failure to report.

Partnered with the Department of Health to Launch Lactation Program at Lowell CI

  • Began a first-of-its-kind program in Florida to support inmates who have recently given birth. The Lactation Program is housed in a dormitory designated for pregnant and post-partum women at Lowell CI. Inmate participants in the lactation program will have the ability to stay in the pregnancy/post-partum dorm for up to 12 months after delivery.

More information: FDC Launched First Lactation Program at Lowell CI (state.fl.us)

Prepared Inmates for Successful Re-Entry and Bolstered Community Partnerships

  • Facilitated pre-release hiring events throughout the state, enabling 987 former inmates to begin employment immediately upon release.
  • Supplemented existing correctional education staff by integrating additional CareerSource Florida personnel to enhance specialized training for inmates.
  • Facilitated re-entry seminars at all facilities pairing soon-to-be released inmates with community resource providers.

Created Program Pathways for Inmates with Varying Sentence Lengths

  • Continued partnership with the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to provide accredited postsecondary degrees which has allowed over 40 inmates with 10 or more years remaining on their sentence to become “Field Ministers.” These ministers then deploy to housing units statewide, to minster and counsel inmates in restricted settings.
  • Expanded the mentoring initiative at each short-sentence correctional institution to enable inmates with lengthy or life sentences to positively contribute to the success of inmates with a short time to serve. To date, a total of 1,665 inmates have volunteered to become mentors.
  • Expanded the Inmate Education Worker training program to increase involvement of qualified inmates to assist alongside trained educators in the institution classrooms.

Prioritized Inmate Education and Training

  • Helped more than 1,200 inmates earn a GED.
  • Expanded the Second Chance Pell College Degree Programs to two additional correctional institutions bringing the number of participants to more than 200 for the year.
  • Awarded more than 5,000 career certificates and industry credentials to inmates through workforce development training.
  • Hosted the inaugural culinary arts training competition. Inmate classes from four institutions demonstrated their abilities while competing on behalf of their culinary certification programs. Industry recognized guest judges with backgrounds in the education of culinary arts and hospitality attended the event. 

More information: Miami Dade College helping empower prisoners with opportunity to earn college degree (state.fl.us)

More information: FDC Celebrates Success of Inaugural Statewide Inmate Culinary Competition

More information: ICYMI:Inmates at Polk Correctional Institution receive diplomas, certifications (state.fl.us)


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.

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Visit our website at http://www.dc.state.fl.us.