The Wakulla County Detention Facility’s housing and security, under the supervision of Captain Ray Johnson, meets the daily needs of inmates by providing a vast amount of programs. Our goal is to keep inmates productive while decreasing the tax burden to the community.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Contract:
The WCSO Detention Facility is under contract with the Department of Homeland Security to house U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees. The detention and removal of illegal aliens is a priority of the Department of Homeland Security in order to deter illegal immigration and protect public safety. Currently, the contract allows 130 illegal aliens to be in the custody and control of the Wakulla County Detention Facility. This contract produces substantial income for the facility (approximately three-fourths of the facility budget). ICE monitors the facility for strict compliance with the National Detention Standards by conducting annual on-site inspections and maintaining general rules, regulations, and policies that all detainees are required to follow while in custody. Areas of inspection include reviews of the following: admission and release, use of force, correspondence and mail, tool control, security inspections, population counts, key and lock control, environmental health and safety, disciplinary procedures, detention files, control of contraband, visitation, detainee telephone access, recreation, issuance and exchange of clothing and bedding, medical operations, and food service. This inspection program is in addition to the annual Florida Model Jail Inspection and the three year Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission assessment and contributes to the high standards the facility continually meets.
U.S. Marshal Contract:
The WCSO Detention Facility is under contract with the U.S. Marshal Office to house federal inmates awaiting trial.
Inmate Work Release:
This program gives employed inmates a way to continue to work while serving their time. The Inmate Work Release program allows inmates to keep their current job. The inmate must gain approval from the Courts, the Sheriff, and the Detention Facility Administrator. A schedule is developed for the inmate to depart and return to the facility daily. It also requires them to pay court fines, fees, and restitution to victims. This program provides an opportunity for the offender to recover and return to a productive lifestyle.
Offenders are sentenced to this program by the courts as a condition of their probation. Offenders are allowed to choose and sign up for days they want to work. They must work at least one day a week. The work projects are legitimate
work that is not likely to be completed because of lack of funds. Hours are worked in lieu of a jail sentence or fine, or used in combination with both. Tools and equipment, as well as transportation to the work site, are provided. Offenders report to the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office Work Camp in the morning, dress in jail stripe uniforms and are assigned to and supervised by Detention Staff. They are released each afternoon. Failure to report to the work camp or failure to follow the established work camp rules result in termination from the program and a court ordered incarceration sentence.
Inmate Road Crew:
The Inmate Road Crew maintains the cleanliness and beauty of the county. The road crew’s Detention Staff pick up trusty inmates from the facility, who are handpicked by the Facility Administrator, and take them around the county to help keep it clean. They pick up trash on the side of the roads, and maintain the courthouse lawn, as well as parks and recreational areas.
Studies have shown that inmates active in religious programming are less likely to be involved in negative behavior within the facility, profit from a spiritual support system during transition, and also develop skills that enhance their chance for long-term success in society. Religious Services ensure that inmates are provided access to religious activities, materials, diets, and other legitimate requirements of their faith. Regularly scheduled worship/study opportunities are provided for the religions represented in our facility population based upon inmate requests and available time and space for services. Religious services are provided by two volunteer Chaplains: Billy Berry and Dallas Gray. These two men provide an invaluable service to our incarcerated population and the county taxpayers.
The Wakulla County Detention Facility affirms the principle that educational and vocational opportunities assist persons in adjusting to incarceration and in rehabilitating into society. Academic classes are offered with the needs of all inmates in mind to include those with disabilities or other special needs in accordance with the Adults with Disabilities Act. Inmates wishing to participate in educational programs may request so in writing. Additionally, all inmates booked into the facility that are in need of a GED are automatically referred to the academic instructor. Educational programs available to inmates include: adult basic education; GED curriculum and testing; vocational skills and job placement. When an inmate receives their GED, they are more employable, making it less likely that they will return to jail.
The WCSO Detention Facility maintains structured rehabilitative and treatment programs including substance abuse counseling, for all inmates requesting participation. The programs are available to all inmates regardless of sex, race, origin, religion, political views, disabilities or legal status. Weekly group meeting include discussions and sharing directed toward alcohol abuse recovery and/or drug/substance abuse problems and are conducted by volunteers from local recovery groups. The goal is to educate and rehabilitate.
Domestic Violence Awareness Program:
This program is conducted by volunteers from the Center for Abuse Prevention. Sessions cover topics on defining domestic violence and different forms of abuse, myths about battery, the cycle of violence, effects of domestic violence on children, relationship characteristics, and relapse prevention techniques.
The Detention Facility’s video visitation system allows inmates video contact with their friends, loved ones, and professionals. Visitors no longer go into the main building for visitation. The visitation building is equipped with ten separate stations for the public to use and each housing pod is equipped with one to three stations for inmate use. This process enhances overall security as inmates do not need to leave the housing unit and contraband is less likely to be introduced into the facility.