Secretary Julie Jones

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones meets with inmates at the Wakulla Correctional Institution, March 8, 2016.
Florida Department of Corrections facebook

The Florida Department of Corrections has opened a new mental health facility in Wakulla County.

Leon Evans, a former inmate, counts himself as a success of Transition House, a reentry program to help inmates have an easier time to transition back into society.
Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Some blame the state legislature for not fully funding Florida’s corrections budget. Prison officials say that led to them making some hard choices. Among those choices: cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society—as we hear in the last installment of Sascha Cordner’s two-part series.

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones meets with inmates at the Wakulla Correctional Institution, March 8, 2016.
Florida Department of Corrections facebook

The state budget officially went into effect earlier this month. That includes Florida’s prison budget, which led to prison officials cutting funding to programs helpful to inmates trying to transition back into society. While some blame the Florida legislature, others want to stop playing the blame game and move forward. In the first installment of her series, WFSU's Sascha Cordner digs into what led up to this point.

Doreen Hoban, a native of Ireland, speaking during Thursday's hearing regarding changes to the inmate visitation schedule.
Florida Channel

The Florida Department of Corrections is looking into changing the rules for prison visitations. But, prison officials are getting pushback from different families and friends of inmates currently behind bars.

Florida Department of Corrections Facebook

Florida prisoners will have new education opportunities under a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott. 

MGN Online

About $5 million separates the Florida House and Senate’s criminal justice budget. But, while there are some differences, there are areas where both chambers agree.

Sean Locke / iStockphoto

Fighting contraband has been an ongoing issue within the state’s prison system. Florida’s prison chief is exploring some innovative ideas to address that issue.

MGN Online

The costs to settle outstanding prison lawsuits could mean less money to spend on Florida Department of Corrections’ priorities. That’s the message from the new Florida Senate Budget chair.

iStockphoto

Florida’s prison population appears to be on the decline.

Florida Department of Corrections

Despite a series of efforts, the Florida Department of Corrections is still facing a significant staffing shortage. The agency’s vacancy rates have more than doubled in the last year.

Dan Bannister / iStockphoto

Florida’s correctional facilities are no longer under lockdown and prisoner visitation has now been restored.

MGN Online

Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill into law meant to help Florida’s inmates.

Wexford Health Sources Inc. website

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones says she’s outraged over the inadequate mental health care services offered at a facility operated by one of Florida’s private prison health care providers. So, she terminated that contract with Wexford Health Sources Wednesday.

Florida Department of Corrections

No correctional officers are responsible for the scalding hot shower death of mentally ill inmate Darren Rainey. That’s according to Miami Dade’s State Attorney, who released a report concluding just that. But, some people aren’t buying it.

MGN Online

The head of the Florida Department of Corrections says her agency is doing its part to help make sure released inmates aren’t targeted by potential human traffickers.

Florida Channel

The new head of the Florida budget panel for criminal and civil justice is giving his fellow members some homework.

Florida Department of Corrections

Florida’s largest state agency is asking the Governor and the state Legislature for more than $147 million. While Florida Department of Corrections officials say pay increases are among their top legislative priorities, the union that has taken back the bargaining rights for the department’s correctional officers hopes even more money will be forthcoming.

Florida Department of Corrections' youtube channel

The Florida Department of Corrections is starting to implement a new program aimed at making sure released offenders don’t come back to the state’s prison system. Prison officials say Spectrum is a research-based program unique to Florida.

MGN Online

Columbia Correctional Institution is returning to normal operations after a lockdown. It’s among several North Florida correctional facilities that experienced prison riots over the last week. But, the head of the union that represents thousands of Florida’s corrections officers says the uprisings speak to a long-standing issue within the Florida Department of Corrections.

MGN Online

The number of people returning to prison based on technical violations has contributed to an uptick in this year’s new prison admissions. Looking for solutions to that problem came up during this year’s legislative session and is a priority for the head of the Florida Department of Corrections.

Florida Department of Corrections / Florida Department of Corrections

Florida’s prison chief is recognizing some of her correctional staff during Pretrial, Probation, and Parole Supervision Week.

Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida Department of Corrections went out of state in its continued effort to recruit more correctional officers Thursday.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

The head of the Florida’s prison system says she already looking ahead to the next legislative session.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones has landed in the Legislature’s cross hairs for plans to close a prison rehabilitation program in Broward County to open up more office space.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

In the last of a two-part series, WFSU's Sascha Cordner continues the conversation with Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones, who has been in her role for more than a year. We’ll hear more about what direction she’d like the prison agency to take, what’s in store for some of her employees, and her take on certain legal challenges affecting the agency.

Last week, we aired Part 1 of our conversation. Listen below to Part 2, which aired on Friday's Capital Report.

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