Florida's Recruitment Methods: Attracting and Retaining Valuable Employees

By Rackleff, Jo Ellyn | Corrections Today, June 2002 | Go to article overview

Florida's Recruitment Methods: Attracting and Retaining Valuable Employees


Rackleff, Jo Ellyn, Corrections Today


Choosing a career in corrections has never been for the fainthearted. Recruitment and retention are difficult tasks, but the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC) is meeting these challenges. "An aggressive recruitment program is paramount to the successful staffing of this agency," says DOC Secretary Michael W. Moore. "We aim to create an environment where the best candidates can be attracted and retained."

Recruiting Valuable Employees

Research shows that most new employees come to the department as a result of contact with a correctional officer or other employee. In a recent editorial in the DOC's newsletter, The Correctional Compass, Moore refers to employees as "ambassadors of the agency" and asks them to keep recruitment in mind.

"No one recruits officers like an officer, so we go into communities in teams," says Buddy Kent, assistant warden for Region I, which includes institutions in the Florida Panhandle. "The team consists of a personnel professional to talk about benefits and conditions for employment and an officer who has experience on the front line. The officer can address the possible fears of an applicant." According to Kent, in 1995, Region I prisons had at least 60 staff openings at one site. Today, they have more certified correctional officers than they can employ.

Family members also act as ambassadors of the agency because correctional officers often come from families that have been working in prisons for generations. DOC Deputy Secretary Richard Dugger is a second-generation corrections professional. His father served as warden at Florida's toughest institution -- Florida State Prison. Following in his footsteps, Dugger also served as warden there. "In the part of the world I come from, corrections runs deep," he says. "Most of the people my age grew up around inmates. It's a way of life. It takes a certain kind of person to be a correctional officer -- a person not easily intimidated."

Another source of ambassadors for the DOC are community colleges. In the 1980s, the DOC established correctional academies at local junior colleges, such as Chipola Junior College. Today, correctional academies exist at 25 junior and community colleges and vocational-technical schools around the state. The department pays for the tuition of about 95 percent of recruits who complete correctional officer training. As a result, community colleges and other schools help the department with recruitment. Often, the schools send representatives to local job fairs to help recruit. "After high school and a year at a local junior college, I thought I was going to have to leave the county where I grew up to make a living," says Sgt. Jeff Lassiter, a new correctional officer at the Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka. "A recruiter for the Department of Corrections came to [my] junior college and I started thinking about working in a prison. I talked to a lot of men I knew who worked in prisons around here and li stened carefully to the bad things that I would be faced with. It sounded hard, but it also sounded interesting. I talked it over with my fiancee and neither of us really wanted to move away. Today, I'm glad I made the choice to become a correctional officer. It's not an easy job, but it is an important one. I am proud being a part of the law enforcement community. I think I make a difference."

Location and community support are essential elements of recruitment. This was proved during a major prison-building campaign in the mid-1980s that mainly focused on Region I. At that time, prisons were so crowded that some inmates lived in tents. Finally, under Gov. Bob Martinez, the Florida Legislature committed itself to a prison-building program. According to Dugger, there were many strong advocates for building prisons in southern Florida near the cities where most inmates were from -- Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Florida's Recruitment Methods: Attracting and Retaining Valuable Employees
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.