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Mark Inch, new head of FDOC

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by studegator, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. studegator

    studegator Junior

    Feb 24, 2008
    Wednesday Editorial: Florida's new prison chief offers hope
    Mark Inch, new head of Fla DOC
    DeSantis made a great choice in my opinion. Military back ground and emphasis on rehabilitation
    In contrast, Florida has been mired in an archaic system that keeps people in prison, scrimps on rehabilitation and does nothing as offenders keep returning.

    The system doesn’t work. It wastes money. It’s just dumb.

    Smart justice programs target prisoners who aren’t threats to society; the programs give these offenders the tools to become productive citizens — an approach that also protects the public.

    That principle finally got through to our leaders in Washington: they recently passed the federal First Step Act, which will implement a number of prison reforms to promote rehabilitation."
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  2. BigCroc

    BigCroc Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2007
    Emphasizing rehabilitation is definitely the way to go. The problem is that it costs significantly more money in the short term than merely housing inmates.

    I don't know much about Mark Inch, but most prior DOC chiefs have been in favor of more rehabilitation programs within the DOC (as well as more substance abuse and mental health programs). The problem has not been within the DOC, rather it has been that our legislators haven't been willing to fund the necessary programs. Between wanting to be "tough on crime", not wanting to do anything to increase taxes, and failing to recognize that the long-term benefits of funding such programs would outweigh the short-term costs, DOC has been consistently underfunded. I wish Inch luck in convincing them to pay the up-front costs to save the long-term costs attendant to our present revolving door penal system.
  3. studegator

    studegator Junior

    Feb 24, 2008
    I think I read that it cost us 20,000 + a year, not counting medical cost, to house one inmate.
    The Project on Accountable Justice has been promoting the use of smart justice techniques for years; it has noted how both money and lives can be saved with data analysis and best practices.
    The Institute for Justice, Research and Development in FSU’s College of Social Work is in the midst of an impressive study that is examining best practices for transitioning prisoners to productive lives outside the bars.
    A November report outlined the basics:
    • A random controlled trial is recruiting 2,200 prisoners in one of 50 state prisons in Florida, Kentucky, Texas and Pennsylvania.
    • Some of the participants will be enrolled in the Five-Key Model for Reentry, a special program designed to give them a hand up to productive lives. Others in the control group will simply be followed, but they will receive the standard services.
    • The five keys to a successful transition are job services, coping strategies, positive social engagement, positive relationships and healthy thinking patterns.
    The central tenet of the program is to link ex-offenders with jobs. However, some of them are so desperate to work to regain self-respect that they are shortchanging other areas.
    For instance, one ex-offender was working three jobs, 16 hours a day, seven days a week. Given his history of mental illness, he is risking a relapse.

    But the challenges ex-offenders face can also be rudimentary in nature.
    For example, one reentry program participant — released after 28 years in prison — didn’t know how to pump gas, drive or buy groceries; he needed help with experiencing panic attacks in public.

    A snapshot of the ex-offenders includes these statistics:
    • More than 96 percent of them have experienced a traumatic event.
    • Almost 60 percent have had a family member or friend murdered.
    • Nearly half have been attacked.
    “I think most of my participants are struggling with trauma,” said one therapist.

    The challenge for Inch is to persuade the Florida Legislature to fund more rehabilitation initiatives, to provide sufficient funding and training for prison guards and avoid more devastating setbacks like the one that occurred last year when the corrections department slashed substance abuse services, transitional housing and reentry programs because of a $28 million deficit.
  4. studegator

    studegator Junior

    Feb 24, 2008
    Feb 2016 article
    The Rate of Incarceration in Florida - Florida Policy Institute
    Florida also has one of the largest populations of mentally ill and drug addicted individuals in its prisons.[9] This also exposes the state to higher costs as the problems and needs of mentally ill and addicted inmates far exceeds the non-mentally ill inmates. For example, in Broward County, Florida, it costs $80 a day to house a regular inmate as opposed to $130 a day for an inmate with mental illness.[10]
  5. studegator

    studegator Junior

    Feb 24, 2008
    2018 article
    Florida again prison population costs | WFTV

    Florida is currently incarcerating 27,719 elderly inmates. The elderly population represents less than one third of the total population, yet the Florida Department of Corrections estimates “43 percent (of) all outpatient episodes for care and 50 percent of all inpatient hospital days” are attributable to elderly inmates. Health care costs the state $20,367 per year per inmate, but inmates older than 50 can cost as much as $70,000 a year, due to increased medical costs.
    “We know from criminal justice data that people age out (of) crime-committing, that is that people age out of their crime-committing years,” said Robert Weissert, of the nonpartisan Florida Tax Watch. “We have to remember that hard on crime is good, but hard on crime is also hard on taxpayers.”