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Strategic Plan for Florida Department of Correction

2914 words (12 pages) Essay in Social Policy

08/02/20 Social Policy Reference this

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The agency that this paper is focused on is the Florida Department of Corrections this agency is charged with the management, protection, custodianship, as well as authority over the close to 100,000 individuals that are convicted Florida Felons and the over 150,000 persons that are under the probation branch of the agency according to its website www.dc.state.fl.us/about.html . The website also notes that this department is the biggest bureau of the state of Florida employing more Floridians then any other.

The paraphrased aim and assignment of the employees of this agency is geared to give a constant level of administrations to address the issues of the people endowed to our consideration, making a protected and expert condition with the result of decreased exploitation, more secure networks and an accentuation on creating a higher level of livelihood so that people may live it more abundantly. With that in mind, FDC gives many scholastic, professional and drug misuse projects to detainees and guilty parties, incorporating into such regions as GED, grown-up fundamental training and obligatory proficiency; printing and illustrations, carpentry and computerized structure; and Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. 

To that end the agency also has a set of values that essentially is 5 words that were paraphrased as security responsibility reasonableness uprightness advancement.  Also accompanying the mission statement and the values the department has a vision statement that entails motivating accomplishment by changing a single being one by one. 

This all goes into the objectives that the Florida Department of Corrections holds its employees to work towards in achievement and that it wants to accomplish to include the following Ability Advancement: We will put resources into our individuals for their expert improvement, development and achievement. Detainee/Guilty party Projects: We will execute rehabilitative projects that help a continuum of administrations for prisoners and wrongdoers, bringing about an effective change into the network. Interchanges: We expect to advance a communitarian and straightforward correspondences structure that connects all individuals and partners. Condition: We expect to give solid, reasonable and merciful situations that are the establishment of our qualities. 

Corrections is meant to be a way of punishing people who have done wrong against others of the community but it is also meant to be rehabilitative.  Locking someone away for the period of time of their sentence and not giving them the tools they need to mentally change themselves will just make the situation worse if they get out being the same way they already were compounded by a situation that can often leave them with mental issues and other things that will likely cause them to reoffend and not to better themselves.

The Goal of this agency is to be a process that is transformative and to cause a want and need for change in the individuals that are placed under the charge of the agency and those who are a part of it.  The agency has the following code of conduct that is placed upon the employees that the author paraphrased for this assignment Set of accepted rules: I will always remember that I am an open authority vowed to maintain the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida. I am an expert focused on general society wellbeing, the help and insurance of my individual officers, and collaborators, and the supervision and care of those in my charge. I am set up to go in damage’s way in satisfaction of these missions.

As an expert, I am gifted in the execution of my obligations and administered by a code of morals that requests honesty in word and deed, constancy to the legitimate requests of those designated over me, and, most importantly, devotion to my promise of office and the laws that oversee our country. I will look for neither individual support nor advantage in the execution of my obligations. I will treat all with whom I interact with class and regard. I will show others how its done and act in a restrained way consistently. I am pleased to benevolently serve my kindred nationals as an individual from the Florida Department of Corrections. 

Also to go along with the code of conduct the agency has what it calls the oath of allegiance which is paraphrased I do seriously declare and assert I am going maintain the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Florida, that I am going to comply with the legal requests of those designated as my supervisor and my superior, and that I am going to play out my obligations steadfastly and as per my central goal to guarantee people in general wellbeing, the help and insurance of my colleagues, and the consideration and overseeing of those in my charge, with hope for the assistance of God.

 There are many issues that The Florida Department of Corrections is currently facing, have faced, and that they may face.  There are smaller issues such as tobacco smuggling and use by inmates, inmates fighting each other, inmates assaulting each other physically and sexually, and many other types of inmate rule violations.  There are bigger issues such as assaults on staff, security issues caused by inmates possessing cellular phones, inmates having illegal narcotics and causing security threats because of getting high, inmates attempting to escape, inmate assaults on staff, people introducing contraband and much more.

 Of all of those things that the agency may face the biggest threat is a prison riot.  A prison riot is a thing that can take many forms and different steps and different things to battle but they are all what is known as an internal security threat. Prison riots can be what may be considered a “peaceful protest” that includes inmates refusing to do the things that they are tasked to do such as cooking and cleaning in food service, cleaning their rooms and dorms, going to work on outside work squads that are typically seen on the side of the road cleaning and mowing.  Prison riots may actually be a full fledged riot where inmates attack officer’s, staff, as well as other inmates trying to cause death and great bodily harm with the intent of gaining media attention and of showing the outside world their “plight” and how the conditions that the incarcerated individuals are living in.  Prison riots may also be full fledged attempts to escape the confines of a secure compound and to be able to gain freedom by overcoming the officers, facilities, and equipment that were created and put in place with the purpose of keeping them incarcerated until their sentence is up whatever or whenever that may be.

It is important for the Florida Department of Corrections to be able to keep control of their facilities and to keep the types of riots described above from happening.  They have parts of the agency that are devoted specifically to intelligence and the gathering of it to be able to know ahead of time of credible attempts to do things such as that.   The agency does not want to have any death or injury of staff or otherwise occur nor do they want to have their name tarnished with some type of escape attempt or other issue.  They aim to keep things that are negative from occurring but it is not always so easy.  This portion of the paper will look into things that have actually occurred in prison settings as well as ways that agencies have trained and prepared for such occurrences in the event that they do happen.

There have been instances of all these types of riots in prisons both here in the United States and in other nations all over the world.  Some examples of prison riots that have happened in the past include the following: A prison escape attempt that occurred on the 13th of October 2017 when at least four convicts became assailants and failed at an escape attempt that cost the lives of two North Carolina Department of Corrections employees including a correctional officer and another staffer.  According to reports from the incident noted in an article for the New York Post and its website which is titled “Two prison employees killed in violent inmate escape attempt” four prisoners arranged the thwarted breakout endeavor trying to abscond away from Pasquotank Correctional Institution in the town of  Elizabeth City North Carolina. The incarcerated individuals started off their plan by committing arson inside a textile manufacturing area they worked in to distract correctional officers and other personnel, at that point going through a delivery area to be able to gain access to the gate which they would then break through and get out into the world.  Two other people who are employed by the correctional facility are noted to have also been hurt relatively seriously in the event according to the article.   

One of the worst events in the history of American Corrections was the riot that took place at Attica State Prison in Attica New York.  According to an article titled “The true story of the Attica prison riot” that was also written for the New York Post and its website.  The article goes into detail about the riot that started on the 8th of September 1971 and would last for 5 Days when the prison was taken back over by state police and other law enforcement.  This event ended in the death of nearly 30 convicts and nearly 10 of the employees that were taken hostage by the convicts.  Hostility was slowly ramping up until it reached a boiling point where an officer was killed and then a large hostage situation occurred.

This event has shaped a lot of what the inmates and people that are against prisons try to do.  Every year around this time and also around the 19th of August of every year prison systems gear up to be able to combat possible issues that may arise due to inmates and outsiders causing trouble due to unrest and misgivings about this countries criminal justice system.  There are inmates that think they are being oppressed and there are also outsiders that believe the same thing.  Sometimes people both inside and out act on these beliefs and there are issues and tensions that are created.   The current situation in a lot of prisons that makes this type of issue even worse is that staffing levels are low leaving people working extended shifts on a regular basis.  This leads to problems such as low morale, inexperienced staff, people leaving for other agencies and other companies altogether.  One of my close friends and someone who I consider an excellent officer left the department for Disney World.  He wants to eventually become a Police Officer but he realized that waiting life out as a correctional officer was no longer worth it.  He left a state job to go work part time at an amusement park driving a boat.  

The media doesn’t help law enforcement either.  They make our job more dangerous and harder then it needs to be.  They blame officers and agencies for things that occur when in reality they try to do everything to be above board or it isn’t even their agency that does it they get blamed for other departments just because of their past.  One article that I read placed part of the blame of a suicide that took place in the Charlotte County Jail on the Florida Department of Corrections noting that they were named in a lawsuit over the case.  The article was in the Charlotte Sun and on its website and is titled “Charlotte County denies responsibility in jail suicide.”  Also an article on the Criminal Justice Reference

Service that is titled “Reducing Staff and Inmate Stress” noted that the average correctional officer lives to be 59 years old this is 16 years less then the national average of 75 years old.  What about this job makes that type of thing worth it? These are just some of the things that face correctional officers throughout their career and their lives

Riots and other type events are to be avoided at all costs and if there is a riot or something of that sort prison officials want to be ready some of the ways that prisons officials can can prepare their staff include, drills, special training events, and much more.  This part of the expose will look into some of the ways that agencies like the Florida Department of Corrections prepare for negative events that may occur and cause a big issue.  There is a lot to be learned from events that occur both in the state and in other jurisdictions so that Florida prisons and the state can be kept as safe as possible. 

One article that focuses on possible strategic responses for the California Law Review titled “ Prison “Race Riots”: An easy Case for Segregation?”  This article noted the gang wars between African American, and Latin American security threat groups.  On the day of the event on the facilities recreation area there was a disturbance involving roughly 150 people on each side with many of them brandishing homemade weapons.  The disturbance lasted for around a half hour and ended with officers resorting to the use of firearms to quell the disturbance one inmate was killed and many more injured in the end.  This is something that can happen at anytime and I have seen things such as this happen a few times the last time was at another institution in the region that I work in what was a gang war between to security threat groups called the Zoe Mafia Family or Zoes for short and the Cutthroats.  Astonishingly it started over a issue between two of the leaders fighting over what is called a “baby” in prison terms meaning an inmate that plays the role of a female for sexual purposes.   The department did the same thing that is mentioned in the article in a sense they took all the cutthroats in the system that were on their compound and shipped them to other institutions immediately the reason why they did this was to keep ongoing issues from happening and to keep the two groups apart the reason why the cutthroats were chosen is because there was less of them then there were zoes so it was easier to move them.

This tool that is used quite often by the department is called the transfer.  Whenever there is an event that is going on such as a possible Attica like plan or a possible August 19th sit down plan the department and the intelligence branch gather up all the information that they can as to who may take part in such an issue and at that time they wake them up early in the morning tell them to pack their stuff and send them on a transfer to another institution throughout the state where they don’t know anyone, cannot influence others right away and place them in confinement under investigation.

This is the best way to keep disturbances from happening by not letting those who try to exert power and control on the inside from being able to gain a footing and being able to make things happen that can be dangerous for inmate and officer alike.  It is a coming policy of the department that from now on when an inmate is involved in some type of gang activity that causes trouble such as a fight or a stabbing that they will be shipped one region away.  This means the following thing if the inmate is currently residing in region 1 at the time of the issue they will be sent to region 3 and vice versa.  If the inmate is residing in region 4 then they will be sent to region 2 and vice versa.  Also another thing that is coming down the pipe to reduce contraband is to keep inmates further away from the county in which they offended or committed their crime so that people who they know will not be as close to be able to attempt to bring them contraband items such as drugs tobacco and cell phones.

References:

  • Cheek, F., & Miller, M. (n.d.). Reducing Staff and Inmate Stress. Retrieved from http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=85591
  • Easker, A. (n.d.). Charlotte County denies responsibility in jail suicide. Retrieved from http://charlottesun.fl.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=0807665cb
  • Florida Department of Corrections “Inspiring Success by Transforming One Life at a Time”. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dc.state.fl.us/about.html
  • Getlen, L. (2016, August 20). The true story of the Attica prison riot. Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2016/08/20/the-true-story-of-the-attica-prison-riot/
  • Two prison employees killed in violent inmate escape attempt. (2017, October 13). Retrieved from https://nypost.com/2017/10/13/two-prison-employees-killed-in-violent-inmate-escape-attempt/
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