Emergency Work Release Program sign now

Petition to Immediately Establish an Emergency Work Release Program
TO: 1. Governor Jeb Bush
Executive Office of the Governor
400 S. Monroe Street
The Capitol
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0001

2. Secretary of DOC James V Crosby
2601 Blairstone Rd.
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500

3. Senate Committee on Criminal Justice
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Chairman: Mike Haridopolos (R)
Vice Chair: Rod Smith (D)
Nancy Argenziano (R)
Victor D Crist (R)
M Mandy Dawson (D)
Mike Fasano (R)
Anthony C Tony Hill Sr. (D)
Evelyn J Lynn (R)
J Alex Villalobos (R)

4. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal Justice
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Chairman: Victor D Crist (R)
Nancy Argenziano (R)
Dave Aronberg (D)
M Mandy Dawson (D)
Mike Fasano (R)

It is my suggestion based on

2004 Florida Statute 944.0231 Reduction of capacity.-- When the population of the state correctional system exceeds 100 percent of its total capacity, as defined in s. 944.023, and remains in excess of 100 percent of total capacity for 21 days, the Governor, pursuant to s. 252.36, may use his or her emergency powers to reduce the population of the state correctional system as follows: The Governor shall inform any federal jurisdiction which has a concurrent or consecutive sentence or any active detainer placed on any prisoner in the state correctional system of his or her intention to transfer custody to that jurisdiction within 30 days. No prisoner shall be so transferred who is convicted of a capital felony in this state nor shall any transfer take place to any county or municipal jurisdiction within the state.
s. 944.023 Comprehensive correctional master plan.--
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) "Criminal Justice Estimating Conference" means the Criminal Justice Estimating Conference referred to in s. 216.136(5).
(b) "Total capacity" of the state correctional system means the total design capacity of all institutions and facilities in the state correctional system, which may include those facilities authorized and funded under chapter 957, increased by one-half, with the following exceptions:
1. Medical and mental health beds must remain at design capacity.
2. Community-based contracted beds must remain at design capacity.
3. The one-inmate-per-cell requirement at Florida State Prison and other maximum security facilities must be maintained pursuant to paragraph (7)(a).
4. Community correctional centers and drug treatment centers must be increased by one-third.
5. A housing unit may not exceed its maximum capacity pursuant to paragraphs (7)(a) and (b).
6. A number of beds equal to 5 percent of total capacity shall be deducted for management beds at institutions.
(c) "State correctional system" means the correctional system as defined in s. 944.02.
(2) The department shall develop a comprehensive correctional master plan. The master plan shall project the needs for the state correctional system for the coming 5-year period and shall be updated annually and submitted to the Governor's office and the Legislature at the same time the department submits its legislative budget request as provided in chapter 216.
(3) The purposes of the comprehensive correctional master plan shall be:
(a) To ensure that the penalties of the criminal justice system are completely and effectively administered to the convicted criminals and, to the maximum extent possible, that the criminal is provided opportunities for self-improvement and returned to freedom as a productive member of society.
(b) To the extent possible, to protect the public safety and the law-abiding citizens of this state and to carry out the laws protecting the rights of the victims of convicted criminals.
(c) To develop and maintain a humane system of punishment providing prison inmates with proper housing, nourishment, and medical attention.
(d) To provide fair and adequate compensation and benefits to the employees of the state correctional system.
(e) To the extent possible, to maximize the effective and efficient use of the principles used in private business.
(f) To provide that convicted criminals not be incarcerated for any longer period of time or in any more secure facility than is necessary to ensure adequate sanctions, rehabilitation of offenders, and protection of public safety.
(4) The comprehensive correctional master plan shall use the estimates of the Criminal Justice Estimating Conference and shall include:
(a) A plan for the decentralization of reception and classification facilities for the implementation of a systemwide diagnosis-and-evaluation capability for adult offenders. The plan shall provide for a system of psychological testing and evaluation as well as medical screening through department resources or with other public or private agencies through a purchase-of-services agreement.
(b) A plan developed by the department for the comprehensive vocational and educational training of, and treatment programs for, offenders and their evaluation within each institution, program, or facility of the department, based upon the identified needs of the offender and the requirements of the employment market.
(c) A plan contracting with local facilities and programs as short-term confinement resources of the department for offenders who are sentenced to 3 years or less, or who are within 3 years or less of their anticipated release date, and integration of detention services which have community-based programs. The plan shall designate such facilities and programs by region of the state and identify, by county, the capability for local incarceration.
(d) A detailed analysis of methods to implement diversified alternatives to institutionalization when such alternatives can be safely employed. The analysis shall include an assessment of current pretrial intervention, probation, and community control alternatives and their cost-effectiveness with regard to restitution to victims, reimbursements for cost of supervision, and subsequent violations resulting in commitments to the department. Such analysis shall also include an assessment of current use of electronic surveillance of offenders and projected potential for diverting additional categories of offenders from incarceration within the department.
(e) A detailed analysis of current incarceration rates of both the state and county correctional systems with the calculation by the department of the current and projected ratios of inmates in the correctional system, as defined in s. 945.01, to the general population of the state which will serve as a basis for projecting construction needs.
(f) A plan for community-based facilities and programs for the reintegration of offenders into society whereby inmates who are being released shall receive assistance. Such assistance may be through work-release, transition assistance, release assistance stipend, contract release, postrelease special services, temporary housing, or job placement programs.
(g) A plan reflecting parity of pay or comparable economic benefits for correctional officers with that of law enforcement officers in this state, and an assessment of projected impacts on turnover rates within the department.
(h) A plan containing habitability criteria which defines when beds are available and functional for use by inmates, and containing factors which define when institutions and facilities may be added to the inventory of the state correctional system.
(5) The comprehensive correctional master plan shall project by year the total operating and capital outlay costs necessary for constructing a sufficient number of prison beds to avoid a deficiency in prison beds. Included in the master plan which projects operating and capital outlay costs shall be a siting plan which shall assess, rank, and designate appropriate sites pursuant to 1s. 944.095(2)(a)-(k). The master plan shall include an assessment of the department's current capability for providing the degree of security necessary to ensure public safety and should reflect the levels of security needed for the forecasted admissions of various types of offenders based upon sentence lengths and severity of offenses. The plan shall also provide construction options for targeting violent and habitual offenders for incarceration while providing specific alternatives for the various categories of lesser offenders.
(6) Institutions within the state correctional system shall have the following design capacity factors:
(a) Rooms and prison cells between 40 square feet and 90 square feet, inclusive: one inmate per room or prison cell.
(b) Dormitory-style rooms and other rooms exceeding 90 square feet: one inmate per 55 square feet.
(c) At institutions with rooms or cells, except to the extent that separate confinement cells have been constructed, a number of rooms or prison cells equal to 3 percent of total design capacity must be deducted from design capacity and set aside for confinement purposes.
(d) Bed count calculations used to determine design capacity shall only include beds which are functional and available for use by inmates.
(7) Institutions within the state correctional system shall have the following maximum capacity factors:
(a) Rooms and prison cells between 40 square feet and 60 square feet, inclusive: one inmate per room or cell. If the room or prison cell is between 60 square feet and 90 square feet, inclusive, two inmates are allowed in each room, except that one inmate per room or prison cell is allowed at Florida State Prison or any other maximum security institution or facility which may be constructed.
(b) Dormitory-style rooms and other rooms exceeding 90 square feet: one inmate per 37.5 square feet. Double-bunking is generally allowed only along the outer walls of a dormitory.
(c) At institutions with rooms or cells, except to the extent that separate confinement cells have been constructed, a number of rooms or prison cells equal to 3 percent of total maximum capacity are not available for maximum capacity, and must be set aside for confinement purposes, thereby reducing maximum capacity by 6 percent since these rooms would otherwise house two inmates.
(d) A number of beds equal to 5 percent of total maximum capacity must be deducted for management at institutions.

s. 252.36 Emergency management powers of the Governor.
(1)
(a) The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers presented to this state and its people by emergencies. In the event of an emergency beyond local control, the Governor, or, in the Governor's absence, her or his successor as provided by law, may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within this state, and she or he shall have the power through proper process of law to carry out the provisions of this section. The Governor is authorized to delegate such powers as she or he may deem prudent.
(b) Pursuant to the authority vested in her or him under paragraph (a), the Governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and rules and may amend or rescind them. Such executive orders, proclamations, and rules shall have the force and effect of law.
(2) A state of emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor if she or he finds an emergency has occurred or that the occurrence or the threat thereof is imminent. The state of emergency shall continue until the Governor finds that the threat or danger has been dealt with to the extent that the emergency conditions no longer exist and she or he terminates the state of emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of emergency may continue for longer than 60 days unless renewed by the Governor. The Legislature by concurrent resolution may terminate a state of emergency at any time. Thereupon, the Governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of emergency. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this section shall indicate the nature of the emergency, the area or areas threatened, and the conditions which have brought the emergency about or which make possible its termination. An executive order or proclamation shall be promptly disseminated by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public; and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the emergency prevent or impede such filing, the order or proclamation shall be filed promptly with the Department of State and in the offices of the county commissioners in the counties to which the order or proclamation applies.
(3) An executive order or proclamation of a state of emergency shall:
(a) Activate the emergency mitigation, response, and recovery aspects of the state, local, and interjurisdictional emergency management plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question; and
(b) Be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plan or plans apply and for the use or distribution of any supplies, equipment, and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to ss. 252.31-252.90 or any other provision of law relating to emergencies.
(c) Identify whether the state of emergency is due to a minor, major, or catastrophic disaster.
1. For a major or catastrophic disaster, the proclamation is authority for a health care practitioner licensed in another state to assist in providing health care in the disaster area according to the provisions specified in the proclamation.
2. For a catastrophic disaster, the proclamation constitutes a formal request for mobilization of the military, which shall be communicated to the President of the United States.
(4) During the continuance of a state of emergency, the Governor is commander in chief of the Florida National Guard and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the Governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or rules, but nothing herein restricts the Governor's authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the emergency.
(5) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the Governor by law, she or he may:
(a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders or rules of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any such statute, order, or rule would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency.
(b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state, as reasonably necessary to cope with the emergency.
(c) Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services.
(d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under s. 252.43, commandeer or utilize any private property if she or he finds this necessary to cope with the emergency.
(e) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if she or he deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other emergency mitigation, response, or recovery.
(f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation.
(g) Control ingress and egress to and from an emergency area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein.
(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles.
(i) Make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing.
(j) Take effective measures for limiting or suspending lighting devices and appliances, gas and water mains, electric power distribution, and all other utility services in the general public interest.
(k) Take measures concerning the conduct of civilians, the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrian and vehicular traffic prior to, during, and subsequent to drills and actual or threatened emergencies, the calling of public meetings and gatherings, and the evacuation and reception of civilian population, as provided in the emergency management plan of the state and political subdivisions thereof.
(l) Authorize the use of forces already mobilized as the result of an executive order, rule, or proclamation to assist the private citizens of the state in cleanup and recovery operations during emergencies when proper permission to enter onto or into private property has been obtained from the property owner. The provisions of s. 768.28(9) apply to this paragraph.
(6) The Governor shall take such action and give such direction to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90 and with the orders and rules made pursuant thereto.
(7) The Governor shall employ such measures and give such directions to the Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90 or with the findings or recommendations of such agency of health by reason of conditions arising from emergencies or threats of emergency.
(8) The Governor shall delegate emergency responsibilities to the officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof prior to an emergency or threat of an emergency and shall utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof, including their personnel and other resources, as the primary emergency management forces of the state, and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the division, as it may require.
(9) The Governor and the division shall establish agencies and offices and appoint executive, professional, technical, clerical, and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of ss. 252.31-252.90.
(10) The Governor shall formulate and execute plans and rules for the control of traffic in order to provide for the rapid and safe movement or evacuation over public highways and streets of people, troops, or vehicles and materials for national defense or for use in any defense industry and may coordinate the activities of the departments or agencies of the state and the political subdivisions thereof concerned directly or indirectly with public highways and streets in a manner which will best effectuate such plans.



And that since

1. Florida has been hit with 2 highly destructive hurricanes in the last 3 weeks and that
2. After Hurricane Andrew many unscrupulous, out-of-state contractors and/or workers flooded the area to perform overpriced, under code work and that
3. Florida has an untapped work force in its overcrowded (as seen in the chart below) prison system

I suggest that Governor Bush and Florida Department Of Corrections institute an emergency program where FDOC would work with state, counties, local municipalities and private contractors to use this untapped inmate workforce for the immediate cleanup and rebuilding of Florida.

This suggestion would

1. Supply state, county and local municipalities with additional hands to help with initial work needed to reestablish pre-hurricane conditions.
2. Supply Florida businesses with the extra workforce needed to rebuild our devastated communities without having to rely on fly-by-night, possibly unscrupulous out-of-state opportunists. This would also keep Florida money in Florida and allow Florida businesses to take care of more residents in a timelier manner.
i. Prisoners could be used by private contractors to assist in containment and removal of debris from private property
ii. Assist as manual or skilled labor to repair or rebuild both governmental and private structures.
iii. Free up any non-inmate skilled or technical personnel by allowing an inmate to performing menial duties.
iv. Use any skilled or technically skilled prisoners to help rebuild Florida

How could this be done?
1. Have FDOC contract with the above noted agencies and/or individuals to hire a FDOC workforce for a specific amount of money for a specific time period based on a 5 day work week.
2. Transfer eligible inmates to the closest (to their familys) Work Release or Work Camp facilities
i. Which inmates would be eligible?
a. All inmates normally eligible for work release but I would suggest that the following changes be applied for this program:
b. Inmates with an advanceable release date sentence who are within the last 24-36 months of confinement are considered.
c. Inmates serving an 85\% sentence (a non-advanceable release date) or mandatory sentences are evaluated at the 15-24 month point
d. Inclusion of non-violent inmates serving their fourth or more commitment to prison, including commitments from any other state or federal correctional agency as long as they are not flight risks and meet 1 or 2 above.
e. All non-violent Violation Of Parole offenders who were returned to custody for technical and/or non-felony violations

What would the benefit of this program be?

1. A reliable Florida based workforce entering the market
2. Benefits to FDOC
i. could use all proceeds from the contract to pay for the program and for that inmates custody which would bring down the budgetary needs of FDOC
ii. overpopulation of major Correctional Institutions would be reduced, making a safer environment for staff and inmates
iii. Inmates would, by virtue of their involvement in the program, be in a vocational training program at no additional cost
iv. Inmates would have a verifiable work record to help them enter the workforce upon release to the community

I would suggest that s. 944.023 (3)d be extended to inmates and that inmate participation be rewarded as follows:

1. Gain time continues to be accrued for those eligible
2. Participants be allowed to buy time off their sentence by working for their time as follows:
1. FDOC claims it costs them $17,286 a year to house an inmate. Based on a wage of $10.00 per hour for an 8 hour day of a 5 day work week, it would take an inmate roughly 216 days to take 1 year off their sentence.
2. If the prisoner works on a 6th or 7th day:
Since the inmate would be (hopefully) within their own community, an incentive of a once-a-month 24 hour furlough (after a 3 month compliance with the program), with family and/or loved ones could be considered. This would allow the inmate time to reconnect to his/her support group and allow the inmate to be a part of the healing process of the affected hurricane victims.

**This overtime should be encouraged as the contract should have a clause for overtime which would add to FDOC coffers and yet allow the inmate to further purchase time off his/her sentence.

** If the inmate breaks the trust of this program they should be immediately returned to confinement and all benefits received from the program be nullified.

Inmates should be recruited by their classification officers who knows them and can make valid evaluations of which inmates can make a contribution at the least risk to the community. Disciplinary Reports should be considered but should not exclude an inmate if the DR was of a non-violent nature.

This would be an emergency program meant to help rebuild Florida and not meant to be a permanent program. Since this program would only be dealing with low risk inmates, the public safety would not be compromised yet the benefit to Florida would be great. I know there are technicalities and legalities that must be worked out but Florida needs reliable, dependable assistance and this is a viable, valid solution that would address a number of issues Florida is facing.


FACILITY Beds Aug-04 Occupancy
101-APALACHEE WEST 778 887 114.01\%
102-APALACHEE EAST 866 1,062 122.63\%
103-JEFFERSON C.I. 951 1,114 117.14\%
104-JACKSON C.I. 1,185 1,232 103.97\%
105-CALHOUN C.I. 1,122 1,130 100.71\%
106-CENTURY C.I. 1,184 1,345 113.60\%
107-HOLMES C.I. 1,128 1,138 100.89\%
108-WALTON C.I. 1,144 1,193 104.28\%
109-GULF C.I. 1,187 1,447 121.90\%
110-WASHINGTON C.I. 1,126 1,227 108.97\%
111-GADSDEN C.I. 896 1,028 114.73\%
112-BAY C.I. 750 745 99.33\%
114-R.JUNCTION W.C. 448 391 87.28\%
115-OKALOOSA C.I. 767 907 118.25\%
118-WAKULLA C.I. 1,191 1,284 107.81\%
119-SANTA ROSA C.I. 1,354 1,176 86.85\%
120-LIBERTY C.I. 1,136 1,268 111.62\%
139-QUINCY ANNEX 408 405 99.26\%
150-GULF C.I.- ANNEX 1,227 1,369 111.57\%
201-COLUMBIA C.I. 1,188 1,326 111.62\%
205-FLORIDA ST PRISON 1,176 1,434 121.94\%
206-NEW RIVER-WEST 802 774 96.51\%
208-R.M.C.-WEST UNIT 889 985 110.80\%
209-R.M.C.-MAIN UNIT 1,338 1,459 109.04\%
210-NEW RIVER-EAST 968 995 102.79\%
211-CROSS CITY C.I. 690 1,004 145.51\%
212-MAYO C.I. 1,292 1,180 91.33\%
213-UNION C.I. 1,549 1,986 128.21\%
214-PUTNAM C.I. 423 452 106.86\%
215-HAMILTON C.I. 1,120 1,167 104.20\%
216-MADISON C.I. 1,132 1,150 101.59\%
218-TAYLOR C.I. 1,122 1,203 107.22\%
219-LAKE CITY C.I. 350 346 98.86\%
224-TAYLOR ANNEX 1,205 460 38.17\%
250-HAMILTON C.I.-ANNEX 1,239 1,385 111.78\%
255-LAWTEY C.I. 788 724 91.88\%
277-GAINESVILLE C.I 378 362 95.77\%
279-BAKER C.I. 1,047 1,158 110.60\%
281-LANCASTER C. I. 524 516 98.47\%
282-TOMOKA C.I. 1,023 1,223 119.55\%
304-MARION C.I 1,051 1,250 118.93\%
307-SUMTER C.I. 1,315 1,480 112.55\%
310-BREVARD C.I. 842 992 117.81\%
312-LAKE C.I. 991 1,084 109.38\%
314-LOWELL C.I. 765 777 101.57\%
320-CFRC-MAIN 1,282 1,412 110.14\%
321-CFRC-EAST 953 709 74.40\%
323-CFRC-SOUTH 150 126 84.00\%
336-HERNANDO C.I. 437 409 93.59\%
367-LOWELL ANNEX 878 852 97.04\%
401-EVERGLADES C.I. 1,525 1,599 104.85\%
402-S.F.R.C. 1,100 1,185 107.73\%
403-S.F.R.C SOUTH UNIT 889 555 62.43\%
404-OKEECHOBEE C.I. 1,356 1,629 120.13\%
405-SOUTH BAY C.I. 1,318 1,318 100.00\%
406-GLADES C.I. 728 1,017 139.70\%
418-INDIAN RIVER C.I. 381 398 104.46\%
419-HOMESTEAD C.I. 553 640 115.73\%
430-MARTIN C. I. 1,039 973 93.65\%
463-DADE C.I. 1,494 1,444 96.65\%
475-BROWARD C.I. 611 714 116.86\%
501-HARDEE C.I. 1,174 1,409 120.02\%
503-AVON PARK C.I. 842 927 110.10\%
510-CHARLOTTE C.I. 1,031 928 90.01\%
511-MOORE HAVEN C.F. 750 745 99.33\%
529-HILLSBOROUGH C.I. 272 277 101.84\%
564-DESOTO C.I. ANNEX 1,206 1,452 120.40\%
573-ZEPHYRHILLS C.I. 623 636 102.09\%
580-POLK C.I. 1,035 1,176 113.62\%
Total 65,682 69,750 106.19\%
Total as reported 83,880 82,313 98.13\%
by FDOC

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Diann ChapmanBy:
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Governor Jeb Bush

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