The TJC Sites: Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida, is the largest US city by land area and the 14th-largest by population, with approximately 845,000 people living in the consolidated city and county. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) is the law enforcement entity for most of the jurisdiction.

The JSO's Department of Corrections is responsible for three detention facilities: the John E. Goode Pre-Trial Detention Facility, the Montgomery Correctional Center Prison, and the Community Transitional Center. Inmates are processed through these facilities from the entire county and surrounding jurisdictions. The corrections department maintains an average daily population of over 3,900 incarcerated people within its three facilities.

In 2007, Jacksonville implemented an anticrime initiative known as the Jacksonville Journey to focus on crime prevention, targeted intervention, and rehabilitation. By recommendation of the funding committee for the Jacksonville Journey, funds were made available for the Jacksonville Reentry Center (JREC), a department within the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Department of Corrections, Prisons Division. This project has been active since 2009 and has served thousands of formerly incarcerated people to improve their likelihood of successful reentry. JREC is mainly funded by Jacksonville Journey, but it also relies on partnerships with community agencies and nonprofit groups to provide necessary services.

Although JREC reduces recidivism, its services don't begin until an inmate is nearing the end of his or her sentence. While all local releases can participate in the JREC program, few do because JREC is set up primarily for those released from longer-term incarceration from the state system. Most county jail releases have personal support in place, as they have not disconnected from their community as much as those who are sentenced to state time.

As part of the Transition from Jail to the Community Initiative, Jacksonville envisions a continuum for most of its inmates that runs from the first contact with the arresting officer through reentry. Pretrial services unit personnel have established a network of service providers for former inmates under the program's supervision. 

The city is testing risk assessment tools for the jail population. Appropriately evaluating and responding to the level of risk, the lower-risk inmates could be released and supervised in the community while the needs of the higher-risk individuals could be more fully addressed while incarcerated in the county system. Outcome data can be used to evaluate program effectiveness