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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Some Inmate Family Visitation Practices Are Not Meeting the Legislature’s Intent, Report No. 07-16, February 2007
Full report in PDF format

National studies have shown that inmates with continued family contact while in prison have lower recidivism rates. Florida law sets forth requirements for the Department of Corrections to facilitate frequent and quality contact between inmates and their families. The department has recently taken steps to strengthen inmate family contact by reducing its telephone commissions and inmate phone rates. However, other weaknesses remain:
  • information about visiting regulations and dress codes is poorly defined and rules are inconsistently enforced;
  • inconsistent efforts are made to manage the time of visiting children and youth; and
  • insufficient statewide oversight is exercised over family visitation.

Conditions are similar at Florida’s private prisons, which provide only half the visitation opportunities of public prisons and charge families more for inmate phone service.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Corrections

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 08-71 While DMS Has Improved Monitoring, It Needs to Strengthen Private Prison Oversight and Contracts, published in December 2008.
  • Report No. 08-20 Corrections’ Contraband Effort Is Sound; Cell Phone Penalties and Warden Consistency Are Needed, published in April 2008.
  • Report No. 07-17 Higher Priority Should Be Given to Transition Services to Reduce Inmate Recidivism, published in February 2007.
  • Report No. 07-15 Corrections Experiences Turnover and Vacancies, But Performance Not Diminished, published in February 2007.
  • Report No. 07-14 Corrections Rehabilitative Programs Effective, But Serve Only a Portion of the Eligible Population, published in February 2007.
  • Report No. 07-13 Department of Corrections Zero Tolerance Policy Increases Offender Scrutiny But Is Not Based on Risk to Public Safety, published in February 2007.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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