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A Faith- and Character-Based Facility

Wakulla Correctional Institution

Wakulla C.I. is a faith- and character-based institution, one of three presently operating in Florida. The department has suggested that as many as 30 such institutions might be established in Florida. The DOC procedure 506.032 has been carefully researched to insure compliance with the First Amendment and other legal requirements. Horizon Communities in Prison is working with DOC to help build a sustained base of volunteers and provide volunteer-led education and transition programs and activities at Wakulla CI.


PROCEDURE NUMBER
:            506.032

PROCEDURE TITLE:                   FAITH- AND CHARACTER-BASED INSTITUTION

RESPONSIBLE AUTHORITY:    OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONS

ISSUE DATE:                                 MARCH 23, 2004; RESCINDED MARCH 31, 2004; ISSUED MAY 3, 2004; PEN AND INK MAY 21, 2004

SUPERSEDES:                               NONE

RELEVANT DC FORMS:            DC5-309, DC6-105, DC6-236

 

ACA/CAC:  NONE

STATE/FEDERAL STATUTES:  SECTION 20.315 F.S.

FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE CODE:  NONE

 


PURPOSETo establish guidelines for the operation of faith- and character-based institutions.

DEFINITIONS:

 (1)      Faith- and Character-based Institution, where used herein, refers to correctional institutions designated by the Secretary that are subject to this procedure. 

(2)      Offender-based Information System (OBIS), where used herein, refers to the department’s official mainframe computer and central data repository used to gather, store and report data regarding offenders.

 (3)      Self-betterment Activity, where used herein, refers to all volunteer and department provided activities, including academic and vocational programs, provided at a faith- and character-based institution.

 


SPECIFIC PROCEDURES: 

(1)      POLICY STATEMENT:  Faith- and character-based institutions are designed to provide a wide range of activities for eligible inmates who have indicated an interest in personal growth and character development.  A faith- and character-based institution provides a public forum for community volunteers to offer programs in all areas of personal growth and character development.  Volunteers from both secular and religious organizations are equally welcome to participate, subject only to content neutral time, place and manner restrictions based on institutional, administrative and security needs.  An inmate’s religious faith, or lack thereof, is not considered in determining eligibility for a faith- and character-based institution.  A faith- and character-based institution will emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, work, education, substance abuse treatment and peer support.  The goals of a faith- and character-based institution include without limitation, rehabilitation, reintegration of inmates into the community, reduction of recidivism, increasing system-wide institutional security, offering a fuller range of religious accommodations, and enhancing restorative justice programming.

 (2)      SELECTION PROCESS:

 (a) Transfer to a faith- and character-based institution is voluntary. 

(b)An Offender-based Information System (OBIS) report lists eligible inmates.

1.   The report will automatically print weekly in the classification department of each institution.

2.   Classification officers will interview all inmates listed on the report each week to determine the inmates’ interest in transfer to a faith- and character-based institution.

3.   Each inmate interviewed will be advised in accordance with the information provided in the “Faith- and Character Based Institution Decision,” DC5-309.

4.   The inmate and classification officer will sign and date the DC5-309, documenting the inmate’s decision.  The DC5-309 will be filed in the inmate’s institutional file to document the inmate’s decision.

5.   The classification officer will enter the names and responses of the inmates interviewed into the OBIS IM03 screen.

6.   Previously interviewed inmates will be excluded from the weekly list once the inmate’s response is entered into the database.  An inmate may change her/his initial response by submitting a request to her/his classification officer by using an “Inmate Request,” DC6-236.  Upon receipt of the request, the classification officer will verify the inmate’s eligibility for a faith- and character-based institution and enter the inmate’s name into the database.

7.   Staff from the central office Bureau of Classification and Central Records will print a report listing all inmates who request transfer to the faith- and character-based institution, and will coordinate the transfer of inmates to faith- and character-based institutions based on available bed space and consideration of other department needs in accordance with Section (4) of this procedure.  

(3)      ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA:

 (a) Inmates must meet the following eligibility criteria for participation in the faith and character based institution:

1.        The inmate must have received no disciplinary reports that resulted in disciplinary confinement during the previous ninety (90) days;

2.        The inmates must be in general population housing status;

3.        The inmates must not be in work-release, reception or transit status; and

4.        The inmate must fall within the parameters of the institutional profile.  Factors to be considered include but are not limited to the following: medical grade; custody; youthful offender status (nineteen to twenty-four [19-24] years of age); escape level; length of sentence (e.g., death row, life); close management status; or sex offenses.

 (b)      An inmate’s religious faith or lack thereof will not be considered in determining eligibility for transfer to the faith- and character-based institution.

 (4)      TRANSFER TO FAITH- AND CHARACTER-BASED INSTITUTIONS:  All eligible inmates who have volunteered for assignment to the faith- and character-based institution will be listed in OBIS.  Staff from the central office Bureau of Classification and Central Records will consider the critical needs of the agency, institution and inmate, before scheduling the inmate for transfer to a faith- and character-based institution.  Factors the department will consider include, but are not limited to the following:

(a)      Institutional Need:  the inmate’s skills as a laborer (e.g., carpenter, plumber, barber, welder, mechanic, electrician, air conditioning technician, or mason) or training in a specific job (e.g., garment manufacturing, waste water treatment, canine handling, or infirmary orderly) are vital to the operation of the facility or program where s/he is assigned.

 (b)      Inmate Certification:  the inmate’s current assignment is critical to the operation of the facility (e.g., certified law clerk, personal computer support, drafting or paint and graphic arts).

 (c)      Program Assignment:  the inmate is currently participating in a PRIDE program, vocational program(s), academic substance abuse program(s) (Modality 2 is an automatic exclusion) or educational program(s) (e.g., GED or Mandatory Participation in Academic Education). 

(d)      Release Date:  the inmate’s length of time remaining to be served.  Inmates with less time to be served may be transferred sooner in order to facilitate participation in the faith- and character-based institution prior to release from incarceration.

 (5)      VOLUNTEERS AND MENTORING

(a)      Faith- and character-based institutions will involve volunteers to support the program schedule with a wide variety of secular and religious activities.                                  

(b)      Volunteers and mentors at faith- and character-based institutions are subject to the requirements of “Volunteers and Interns,” Procedure 503.004. 

 (c)      Mentoring:

1.        is provided so that each inmate will have a positive influence in her/his life and to have a positive contact to assist the inmate upon release; and

2.        is intended to enhance personal growth through the sharing of experiences and wisdom and to offer a framework for teaching and modeling values and life skills;

 (d)      Mentoring topics will be geared towards personal growth in ethical behavior and interpersonal relationships. 

(e)      Reasonable efforts will be made to match inmates with mentors who are best suited to address the individual inmate’s needs. 

(f)        The mentor will be the same gender as the inmate.

 (g) Mentors are assigned as available by the volunteer coordinator.  Inmates may change or decline mentors at any time without any penalty and may request a new mentor.  Mentors may decline to mentor an inmate at any time and may request a new inmate to mentor.

 (6)PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES:

 (a)      The warden or assistant warden will impose only content neutral time, place and manner restrictions on volunteer activities.  These restrictions may include without limitation generally applicable correctional guidelines consistent with the general order, security and institutional operation. 

(b)Religious activities will be scheduled in accordance with “Chaplaincy Services,” Procedure 503.002.

 (c)      Academic and vocational programs will be provided pursuant to “Academic Education Programs,” Procedure 501.106; “Workforce Development Education for Inmates,” Procedure 502.001; and in accordance with the Department of Education Curriculum Framework.

 (d)      Inmates will be required to perform work and other assignments as they would in every correctional institution.

 (e)      Inmates will be required to maintain continuous participation in at least one (1) self-betterment activity while assigned to a faith- and character-based institution, provided such activity is available.  Institutional classification staff will keep track of the inmate’s participation.  Volunteers may assist with the maintenance of records. 

(7)      TRANSFER FROM DESIGNATED INSTITUTIONS:  

(a)      An inmate can only be transferred from a faith- and character-based institution for one (1) or more of the following reasons:

1.        population management, which includes concerns such as natural disasters; institutional disturbances; medical reasons (e.g., surgery, injury, special medicines, special diets or illness); and security reasons (e.g., custody levels increase or decrease, protection, discipline, investigations or special reviews);

2.        inmate conduct that would subject the inmate to disciplinary confinement in any correctional institution;

3.        physical or mental health reasons;

4.        voluntary transfer;

5.        the inmate has been approved for a good adjustment transfer or approved for placement at a work release center; or

6.        failure to comply with Section (6)(e) of this procedure.

 

(b)      An inmate assigned to a faith- and character-based institution may be placed in administrative confinement pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing.

1.        If the outcome of the hearing results in disciplinary confinement, the inmate will be approved for transfer and transferred to a location where the disciplinary confinement penalty can be served. 

2.        If the outcome of the hearing results in a penalty other than disciplinary confinement, the inmate may remain at the faith- and character-based institution. 

(c)      An inmate cannot be transferred for failure to participate in any religious activity.

 

(d)      An inmate will be allowed to voluntarily transfer from a faith- and character-based institution at any time without penalty.  If an inmate voluntarily transfers from the faith- and character-based institution, institutional classification staff will submit a transfer request to the central office Bureau of Classification and Central Records for the inmate to return to her/his originating institution.  If no institutional profile conflict exists, staff from the Bureau of Classification and Central Records will approve the transfer to the originating institution.  If an institutional profile conflict exists with the originating institution, staff from the Bureau of Classification and Central Records will approve a transfer to another facility.   

(e)      An inmate that voluntarily transfers from a faith- and character-based institution will not be precluded from transferring to a faith- and character-based institution again in the future.  However, the inmate will have to wait twelve (12) months before requesting to transfer to a faith- and character-based institution.  After waiting twelve months, such inmate may request transfer to a faith- and character-based institution by using an “Inmate Request,” DC6-236.  Upon receipt of the request, the classification officer will forward the request to the Bureau of Classification and Central Records.  The Bureau of Classification and Central Records will review and approve/deny each request on a case-by-case basis.

(f)        If an inmate becomes eligible for center work assignment or community work release (CWA/CWR designation), assignment to the faith- and character-based institution will not preclude the inmate from being recommended and approved for work release.

(g)      Routine transfers from faith- and character-based institutions will utilize the following classification transfer codes:

1.        Good Adjustment (03): Meets criteria for relocation pursuant to the “Transfer Recommendation Worksheet, Quality Criteria Checklist,” DC6-105, at a regularly scheduled progress review.

2.        Refused Recommendation (RR): Inmate wishes to voluntarily transfer from the faith- and character-based institution.

3.        Discipline Problem: Inmate has received disciplinary action that would subject the inmate to disciplinary confinement in any correctional facility and resulted in a disciplinary confinement penalty.

4.        Resolve Protection (RP)/Protective Management (PM): to resolve inmate protection issues.

5.        CWA/CWR Placement: to utilize any appropriate CWA/CWR transfer codes;

6.        Special Review (SR): to resolve documented threat issues.

7.        Facility Conflict: to resolve profile conflicts when the inmate is no longer appropriate for housing due to OBIS classification conflicts.

8.        Population adjustments, medical and psychological transfers will be entered/approved by appropriate central office staff.

 _______/S/________________________________

            James V. Crosby, Jr., Secretary