Florida Department of Corrections

  www.dc.state.fl.us
  www.dc.state.fl.us
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Florida Department of Corrections Reviews

Updated September 6, 2014
Updated September 6, 2014
44 Reviews
2.5
44 Reviews
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Gene Hatcher
12 Ratings

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  1.  

    Not what I thought it would but great benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Certified Correctional Officer  in  Avon Park, FL
    Current Employee - Certified Correctional Officer in Avon Park, FL

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Benefits is the best part of the job. Great experience but not really into negativity.

    Cons

    Benefits are good but Really not my thing always around negative people. Only good for benefits, Pay is ok but could be better

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  2.  

    Seek Employment Elsewhere!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer Sergeant
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer Sergeant

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    The best part about working with the Florida Department of Corrections as a Correctional Officer is there are many opportunities for advancement if you are not bound to one geographical region of the state. In other words, if you are willing to move around, then you will be promoted up the chain of command fast -- to a point. Once you make it to the rank of Captain, then you will hit a brick wall so to speak. Positions after Captain are "appointed" not promoted. They can appoint anyone one they want to Major and above and the competition is high.

    6 year retirement vestment. After just 6 years you are guaranteed a retirement. Perfect for those who are older and already retired from one career looking to add a second retirement check.

    25 years high risk retirement. After 25 years you can retire and start collecting a retirement check regardless of your age. Just remember, High Risk State Retirement is available at some counties around the state so you are not restricted to the FDOC. Believe me, you will deserve it after working 25 years with criminals.

    Cons

    Career path -- Like I said above, once you get to a certain point, your advancement is based on who you know and not what you can do. So it gets political and if you are not willing to play the game then don't bother. If you are willing to play the game then get in line because you will have much competition. Get ready to say. "Yes, yes, yes," to just about anything if you want to be appointed because if you say no, then the person behind you will say yes. But, if you never want to move past Captain then you should be fine.

    Hiring Practices -- The Department will hire just about anyone with a pulse and clean criminal record for the position of Correctional Officer. If you are trying to get a foot in the door, then this is a Pro, but if you want a career in the FDOC then this becomes a Con. Just because someone has a clean criminal record doesn't mean they are an ethical individual. It just means they haven't gotten caught. The FDOC has failed to implement some kind of psychological testing to weed out the bad apples and therefor hires a lot of them. I know that psychological testing will not weed out all the undesirable applicants but it will weed out some which is a start. If you are the type of individual who takes your job seriously and wants to be viewed as a professional then you will not want to work at correctional agencies that hires almost anyone with a pulse.

    Training - The FDOC will send you through its own Correctional Training Academy because it is so desperate for help. Again, this may be a Pro for some but it should also be a clue.

    Quality of Training - The quality of training is poor. Most training is nothing more than someone standing at the head of a class, reading from a course outline, then paraphrasing the course outline. There are some instructors that will make an honest attempt to engage the class but more often than not you will take more breaks than anything else.

    Technology Utilization -- The FDOC has failed miserably when it comes to using modern day technology. Inmate management database systems are ancient, inadequate and difficult to use. Don’t even think about using mobile devices as the FDOC is incapable of securing wifi communications. Record keeping is almost all paper based and is done for the primary purpose of liability reduction. There are literally thousands of forms in various formats that are constantly being updated due to litigation. Most training could be accomplished using web based tutorials however the FDOC is unable to invest in such modern day luxuries. To be fair, there are a few web based training courses that amount to clicking on a button, reading a MS Word document that pops up then answering a few multiple choice questions -- archaic. Timesheets are also paper based even though the state of Florida has an online timesheet for employees to fill out, but you as a Correctional Officer won't be allowed to use it. Perhaps this is because management is concerned with employees trying to steal time -- again this could be related to poor hiring practices.

    Equipment -- Finding an agency that permanently issues you your equipment is desirable because it is a good indication the agency has a budget that will allow for yearly pay raises. The FDOC does not do this. The department provides the necessary equipment but you pass it off to another employee at the end of your shift. The FDOC is an over bloated and underfunded agency so the budget is scant at best. I understand that there are other agencies that require staff to pass off their equipment but there are many other agencies that assign you your equipment for permanent use. Having equipment permanently issued is more desirable as you know what state of readiness your equipment is in. If you have equipment passed off to you then you do not know how many times that radio has been dropped or if those handcuffs have been disinfected (they may have been used on an inmate who smeared feces on him or herself or had blood or other bodily fluids contaminate the equipment). Vehicles are of especially poor quality. You will use vehicles more than you realize and once you are in them you will notice just how abused and trashed they are. Some have holes in the floorboard due to rust. Weapons are also worn and old. The bullet proof/resistant vest they issue are big, bulky, hot, and dirty.

    Pay and pay raises -- The starting pay for a Correctional Officer for the Florida Department of Corrections is within the median for the rest of the State. In other words, it pays better than most of the rural counties. But you can get paid much better with well funded county jails as well as the Federal Government. From their website, A Correctional Officer with the FDOC will be compensated at:

    Trainee Officer: $28,007.20 annually
    Certified Officer: $30,807.92 - 45,033.82 annually
    Annual salary additive of approximately $1,200 when employed in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, or St. Lucie counties. Annual salary additive of approximately $2,500 when employed in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade or Monroe counties.
    Annual uniform and shoe allowance of $325.00.
    Criminal Justice Incentive Pay up to $1,560.00 annually ($130.00 per month).

    In comparison, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office starting pay for a Certified Correctional Officer is $47,220/year.

    According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office offers the highest pay for Correctional Officers who wish to stay in or get into the State Retirement System and I highly recommend for those pursuing a career in Corrections in the state of Florida to aim for Palm Beach County.

    We in the FDOC went 7 years without a pay raise and when we did get one it was less than what other State Law Enforcement Agencies received.

    Wage theft -- if you work overtime, then you will be paid time and one half your pay unless you can be adjusted out within the 28 day pay period. You don't have a say in the matter and it is completely up to your supervisor whether or not you get adjusted for overtime. If you took leave earlier in the pay period but are required to work an extended workday due to staff shortage, then guess what? You were “pre” adjusted and your leave time will be given back and the state will call it “even.” Finally, you are required to be on your post at the start of your shift but you are also required to clear a metal detector at the front entrance. If you don't get there early to clear the metal detector then walk to your post then you could be disciplined for being late. In other words, you are not paid walk time to your post. I personally don't have a problem with getting to my job a little early but the fact is they are requiring you to be early without paying you for it. Don't argue with your supervisor because he or she can’t do anything about it. I believe the Collective Bargaining Unit, The Teamsters, is currently suing the state for this but I don't have any idea how long it will be tied up in court.

    No staff briefing -- If the state is not going to pay walk time then they are not going to pay pre-shift staff briefings.

    Poor Public Perception -- Not a day goes by that you don't see something bad about Correctional Officers in the news. Most of the time we are called prison guards but Correctional Officer is our official title. If you want prestige and respect, then become a firefighter.

    Staff Shortages -- The motto, "We Never Walk Alone" is meant to cover up the unsafe conditions that is working for the Florida Department of Corrections. You will be working alone more often than not and sometimes outnumbered by inmates as much as 100 to 1. The FDOC desperately needs more staff positions as they purposely keeping positions vacant due to budget issues.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None. There is no point in offering advice to Management as they are not in a position to act upon your recommendations. Changes will have to come from the state legislative level.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    Worst employment decision I ever made.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Certified Correctional Officer  in  Avon Park, FL
    Current Employee - Certified Correctional Officer in Avon Park, FL

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    I cannot think of any.

    Cons

    Poor pay, no raises, cost of living or otherwise. Very difficult to get time off. You better be related to someone or in the clique, or the abuse and disrespect is neverending. Broken, damaged, and obsolete equpment. Management unresponsive to maintenance requests. Things get repaired only when there are "VIPs" coming. Then the dog and pony show begins.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They do not take advice, nor do they listen to staff, unless it is one of their cronies.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5.  

    They do not care about their staff.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer  in  Ocala, FL
    Current Employee - Correctional Officer in Ocala, FL

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Decent pay and vacation time. The hours that you work are really good. 60 hours one week 24 the next week

    Cons

    They do not care about their staff. The higher up will do what they can to get their bonuses while the staff that work one on one with the inmates bonuses are challenged in every possible area to increase the higher echelons bonuses for you not receiving yours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Care more about your staff and get rid of the drama that is far worse between staff than inmate.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  6.  

    Department of Corruption

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer

    I worked at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    High risk retirement, good benefits

    Cons

    The particular prison I worked at was very corrupt and dirty. The administration gives promotions based on his own personal relationship with subordinates (very unprofessional) and gives shift assignments based on personal relationships as well. They allow lying, dirty snakes to become white shirts, and continue to promote them, even though they pose a great liability to the state and result in large settlement payouts. This was the worst administration I have ever worked for in my entire career. This is a good career choice for those that have no other career options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get a clue. Gain some morals. Take some management classes at the very least and learn how to be a leader that subordinates can learn from. Stop being PRO-inmate and become more PRO-OFFICER. You want to be recognized as a vital component of the criminal justice/LEO field instead of the red-headed stepchild, you need to gain some integrity. Stop rewarding bad behavior and covering for those in "authority". What is your mission statement?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Correctional Officer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer  in  Ocala, FL
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer in Ocala, FL

    I worked at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Stable job, good pay, excellent retirement

    Cons

    Depends on prison that you work at

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Support your staff

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    State workers

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous
    Current Employee - Anonymous

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great benefits, generous leave and holidays with time in grade if in career service. However if a contractor to the state. Terrible benefits and excessive workload

    Cons

    Excessive workload. Have to pay for required leave on holidays with earned leave. Painful entrance process

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    To main policy makers: get an idea! Quit treating staff like inmates

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9.  

    You Always Walk Alone.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Various  in  Tallahassee, FL
    Former Employee - Various in Tallahassee, FL

    I worked at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Excellent benefits, field staff are generally easy to work with and understanding. Nearly unlimited earning potential for the incompetent and those that have been investigated by the Inspector General.

    Cons

    Hostile working environment with obvious who-you-know bias and a frustrating inability to think outside the box at nearly every level. Expect to be lied to constantly and enjoy empty promises and an inability to live up to your potential thanks to ridiculous roadblocks and a "We've always done it this way" mentality. The Good Old Boy system is alive and well in Central Office.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Listen to your employees, not the snakes you pay $90,000+ to that copy others work or coast to a ridiculous salary on a family name. There are wonderful people that work for the Department of Corrections, stop treating them so poorly while the same names rise to the top, regardless of their ethics or any actual ability.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Stay clear or get certified and run

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Florida Department of Corrections

    Pros

    Training, that's about it. Don't bother.

    Cons

    Everything, pay is not worth the risk. Won't make any money till you hit major or better

  11.  

    May as well break the law before going to work there

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer  in  Raiford, FL
    Former Employee - Correctional Officer in Raiford, FL

    I worked at Florida Department of Corrections full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Paycheck did not bounce every two weeks.

    Cons

    Hostile work environment! No support to provide basic safety needs.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Quit, shot yourself, jump off a bridge, or anything else that will spare the public of your insanity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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