The Florida Department of Corrections recently released the exceptional cost-avoidance provided by inmate community work squads. As of May 31, 2015, the Department’s community work squads recorded nearly 1.3 million hours of labor, generating a cost-avoidance of $20,346,737 for Florida’s communities since January. “The cost-avoidances garnered by our work squads illustrate the Department’s efforts to give back to our communities and the people of Florida,” said Secretary Julie Jones. “Working hand-in-hand with local and state organizations provides opportunities for our inmates to develop the job-related skills and values required for successful re-integration into Florida’s communities.” The Department’s community work squads have historically provided inmate labor for cities, counties, municipalities, non-profit organizations and other government agencies. Madison County and Jefferson County have taken advantage of the opportunities that the work squad provides.
The Madison Correctional Institution provides inmate work squads to the Cities of Lee, Greenville and Madison as well as to Madison County and North Florida Community College. The squads clean roadsides, mow, weed-eat, provide janitorial services, paint/clean schools in the summer and work at the recycling center. For the month of May, Madison Correctional Institution community work squads reported 3,209 hours valued at $51,761. The Jefferson Correctional Institution provides inmate work squads to both the City of Monticello and Jefferson County. The squads clean roadsides, mow, weed-eat and repair recreation facilities. One squad is dedicated to the county recycling facility. For the month of May, Jefferson Correctional Institution community work squads reported 1,223 hours valued at $19,727. The value of work is determined by multiplying the hourly wage value of $16.13 times the hours worked. The hourly wage value of $16.13 is a benefited hourly wage value. The base hourly wage value is determined from the Florida Occupational Wages 2014 Edition prepared by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Added to this base hourly wage value are benefits for social security, retirement, health and basic life insurance.