Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 101873

File Number: 101873 File Type: Resolution Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: R-389-10 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: CONTINUE BOOTCAMP PROGRAM FOR FY 2009-2010 Introduced: 7/21/2010
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 4/6/2010
Agenda Date: 4/6/2010 Agenda Item Number: 11A12
Indexes: BOOT CAMP
Sponsors: Joe A. Martinez, Prime Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Rebeca Sosa, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed

Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 7/21/2010 Assigned Geri Bonzon-Keenan 7/27/2010

Board of County Commissioners 4/6/2010 11A12 AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: Commissioner Martinez noted that Boot Camp was an excellent program; however, the County Commission needed to take funds from another program in order to maintain it. Chairman Moss expressed support for funding the Boot Camp through the end of the current fiscal year and noted future funding needed to be secured through the County’s budget process. Commissioner Heyman noted that Boot Camp was a sentencing option for judges to use as an alternative to youth detention the program should be supported on its success. She expressed support for funding this program through the end of the fiscal year. She asked County Manager Burgess to identify alternatives for the Corrections Department to reduce costs and to provide her with a report identifying the revenue that the Boot Camp saved from other departments. Commissioner Sorenson noted she supported the Boot Camp’s continuation provided the County Commission identified a funding source. She suggested the Police Department’s budget be considered as a funding source, noting the Corrections Department was not adequately funded and could not absorb this expense. Chairman Moss commented that the Mayor and County Manager needed to recommend a funding source to the County Commission. Commissioner Seijas said she did not support the Boot Camp because the number of participants and the age of the population served had dramatically increased over the years; however, stopping Boot Camp would be detrimental to the current participants and to the judicial system. She suggested that Boot Camp be continued through the end of the fiscal year and encouraged the judicial department to stop referring new participants. Mr. Timothy Ryan, Director, Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department (CRD) responded to Commissioner Seijas’ question about current Boot Camp programs. He noted that 57 individuals were currently being served by the Boot Camp program in two programs. Mr. Ryan explained that Phase 1 of Program 1 began in January 2010; Phase 2 would finish at the end of May 2010; participants would then complete a 10 month program in cooperation with the probation department; Phase 1 of Program 2 would finish in May 2010; and Phase 2 of Program 2 would end in July 2010. He said a third program was anticipated to begin April 15, 2010 with 38 inmates; however, those inmates had not yet been selected. Commissioner Seijas suggested the current Boot Camp programs be completed and the third program scheduled for April 15, 2010 be discontinued. Mayor Carlos Alvarez clarified that Boot Camp participants were adults who were convicted of a felony and not juveniles. He noted that anyone under 18 who was tried and convicted as an adult committed a very violent crime or had numerous arrests. Chairman Moss noted Boot Camp should not be immediately shut down; however, any future funding decision needed to go through the regular budget process so that the County Commission could determine whether the program remained a priority. Commissioner Jordan commented that although Boot Camp participants were convicted of a felony, this was their first offense. Mayor Alvarez responded that it was not necessarily their first offense and some of the crimes they were convicted of were rather violent. Commissioner Jordan said she was an advocate for giving young people a second chance. She mentioned that Boot Camp originally received $3 million funding through the General Fund. She noted the responsibility for Boot Camp shifted to the Corrections Department due to the nature of the work and expressed concern over departments having to shift costs to other programs outside of their department’s mission. She said the CRD needed to cut other services to maintain Boot Camp and the County Commission needed to determine whether this program was important enough to fund without harming another department in the process. Commissioner Gimenez expressed support for the foregoing proposed resolution. He said he was more interested in the Boot Camps success rate and what happened after participants left the program, rather than their age and the number of convictions. Commissioner Gimenez asked Mr. Ryan to meet with him to explain why the Boot Camp program was selected to be eliminated over other departmental expenditures. He also asked Mr. Ryan to provide him with a report on the recidivism rate of Boot Camp participants versus the rate for other corrections and rehabilitation programs. In response to Commissioner Martinez’ question regarding Boot camp eligibility, Mr. Ryan explained that after being convicted of a felony a negotiation process took place between the defense, the judge, and the prosecution when deciding appropriate sentencing options and prison was the first element of that sentence. Commissioner Martinez noted it was his understanding that eligibility for the Boot Camp required that the individual could not have a previous conviction or be sentenced to prison. Mr. Donald Coffey, Chief, CRD explained that a person could have been convicted and served prison time and still participate in Boot Camp. Commissioner Martinez questioned whether someone convicted of murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, auto theft, or arson would be eligible for Boot Camp. He proceed to ask Mr. Ryan to provide him with a report explaining who was eligible for the Boot Camp program and the type of crimes committed by people housed in Boot Camps. Commissioner Martinez commented that people were sentenced to Boot Camp because maybe the Department of Criminal Justice and other programs did not work and this program did. He noted programs like this, that worked, were a good thing and helped reduce costs by keeping someone out of prison. Commissioner Martinez proceeded to inquire about Boot Camp’s costs compared to traditional incarceration methods. Mr. Ryan responded that $134 per day was the average cost of incarceration per inmate across the system; $243 per day for Boot Camp; and $217 per day for the Women’s Detention facility, noting that Boot Camp was the most expensive program. Commissioner Martinez noted that increased costs would be made up on its own with Boot Camp’s 83% recidivism rate and individuals not coming back into the system as often. He proceeded to point out several CRD line item expenditures which could be eliminated or reduced. Commissioner Martinez said Boot Camp costs should remain with the CRD, noting the core mission of Boot Camp was care, custody and control. County Manager George Burgess explained that the CRD budget was being reduced by $5 to $6 million dollars and the Boot Camp was a Jail System program that CRD supported. County Manager Burgess said that the County was committed to incarcerating inmates; however, was in the process of evaluating the costs per inmate and the cost effectiveness of such programs. Upon inquiry by Commissioner Martinez on the rationale for eliminating the Boot Camp, County Manager Burgess responded that the recommendations for reductions were made in cooperation with departments across the entire County organization. He noted there was limited revenue and difficult choices were necessary as to which programs to fund. County Manager Burgess noted the costs associated with housing a detainee in the County jail as opposed to the individual serving time in a State facility, at the State’s expense, was a factor in the thought process for making the decision to eliminate funding for the Boot Camp. Commissioner Martinez inquired where the funding would come from to keep Boot Camp open for the remainder of this fiscal year. County Manager Burgess said the entire County operations would be reviewed and a decision made to make adjustments within the revenues allocated. Commissioner Martinez questioned the impact on people currently in Boot Camp. Mr. Ryan responded that new inmates were scheduled to enter Boot Camp on April 15, 2010 and that all programs would be completed by the end of July. Commissioner Martinez inquired whether it was intended to complete the existing programs or to begin a new program in April. Chairman Moss noted this was an issue which needed to go through the budget process; however, he did not want to see any impact upon anyone currently being served in the program. Commissioner Martinez commented that both programs would be completed before the end of the current fiscal year. Chairman Moss said he believed current program participants should complete the program and the County Commission in the meantime would make a budget recommendation moving forward. He noted the Commission should not be forced into a position where it would try to continue the program next year without going through the budget process. Commissioner Martinez proposed that the foregoing proposed resolution be amended to identify funds that would only allow Boot Camp’s current participants to complete the program. Assistant County Attorney Geri Bonzon-Keenan suggested the amendment read as follows: the resolution establishing County policy to continue Phase 1 and 2 of the Boot Camp program for Fiscal Year 2009-10. Commissioner Sosa said she believed additional savings could be found in Agenda Item 801C and applied to the Boot Camp program, noting the DCR was requesting $936,000 funding for appliance purchase and repair services. She commented on the value Boot Camp brought to the program participants and their families and expressed support for the proposed resolution as amended by Commissioner Martinez. She also asked County Manager Burgess to provide her with a report explaining who set the guidelines for the Boot Camp program; whether those guidelines could be adapted; what would be the cost for housing a repeat offender versus a one-time offender in the Boot Camp program; and what the County needed to do to capitalize on available State of Florida programs. Commissioner Rolle asked the County Attorney whether Commissioner Martinez’ amendment covered the remainder of the fiscal year or through the end of July. Assistant County Attorney Bonzon responded that the proposed amendment would limit Boot Camp to participants in Phase 1 and 2 programs and all of those participants would complete the program by the end of July 2010. Commissioner Rolle asked Mr. Ryan if Boot Camp was considered to be a failed or a successful program. He also asked whether Boot Camp was the first program CRD considered for budget reductions or were other alternative cost savings considered. Mr. Ryan responded that Boot Camp was an outstanding program with positive results. He noted that the DCR’s identified $7 million in budget reductions and that many operations, programs and their impacts were considered. Mr. Ryan clarified that $1.8 million was needed to fund Boot Camp through September 2010. Commissioner Rolle noted his support of the original proposed resolution which provided funding through the end of the current fiscal year. At this time, Commissioner Jordan presented a motion to extend the meeting. This motion was seconded by Chairman Moss and upon being put to a vote, passed by a vote of 9-1 (Commissioner Seijas voted No)(Commissioners Diaz, Edmonson, and Barreiro were absent). Commissioner Jordan opined that Boot Camp was created to give first time offenders between the ages of 18-23 a second chance and noted she was unaware of any changes to that mission. Mayor Alvarez responded that Boot Camp’s mission of serving first time offenders who committed non-violent crimes changed many years ago after an individual who committed a violent crime was inadvertently placed in Boot Camp. He noted, upon further evaluation, it was determined that repeat offenders and individuals who committed violent crimes would benefit from the Boot Camp program. Commissioner Jordan noted she wanted legislation to clarify that Boot Camp was restored to its original intent to serve first time offenders should this program remain. She spoke about the need for funding decisions to be made through the budget cycle and the budget process and said she supported the original proposed resolution because the program in its original intent was worth saving. Commissioner Sorenson commented that people were better members of society with recidivism down, rather than being sent to prison for the rest of their lives, and the Boot Camp served a good public purpose and was worth supporting. Commissioner Sorenson said she did not support Commissioner Martinez’ amendment to the proposed resolution because it would cause the program to end. She stressed the need to invest more in education, pre-kindergarten, parenting programs, drug rehabilitation, after school programs, mental health intervention, anger management, and other human service programs which would further reduce the prison population. Commissioner Sorenson noted that the average homeowner would pay an average of $200 less per year in property taxes and more programs would be cut during the next budget cycle. She noted different choices were necessary; but it would require the County Commission to make some hard decisions. Commissioner Sorenson said it was good public policy to continue programs that worked; that Boot Camp should be continued; and appropriate funding be allocated. Commissioner Gimenez inquired when the projected April class would complete Phase 2. Mr. Ryan responded that it was a six month program that would complete in September. Commissioner Gimenez noted his support for the original proposed resolution because Boot Camp the proposed amended would stop the program in July and it would then have to be restarted. Commissioner Gimenez said Boot Camp was averting more crimes, resulting in fewer victims of those crimes. Commissioner Martinez withdrew his prior amendment and proposed that the original resolution be amended to remove the requirement that Boot Camp be funded in prospective fiscal years. Commissioner Seijas questioned how recidivism was measured. Mr. Ryan responded that recidivism was measured by the number of new arrests from the time of enrollment in the 10 month program through the completion of a 12 month probationary period. He said that records were not maintained on any arrests after the 22 month period. Commissioner Sorenson asked for the County Manager’s recommendation on a funding source for the Boot Camp. County Manager Burgess responded that funding would not be limited to the Corrections Department and the entire County operation would be evaluated. There being no further discussion, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed resolution as amended.

Legislative Text


WHEREAS, as part of the County’s adopted budget for Fiscal Year 2009-10, funding for the Boot Camp program was included in the budget for the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department; and
WHEREAS, by memorandum dated February 25, 2010, the County Manager advised the Board that in order to balance the fiscal year 2009-10 budget, the administration would, among other things, implement expenditure reductions across various departments effective March 1, 2010; and
WHEREAS, one of the listed expenditure reductions was the suspension of the Bootcamp Program; and
WHEREAS, the County Manager’s February 25th memorandum stated that the suspension of the Bootcamp Program “includes the elimination of six civilian positions and transfer of 45 sworn positions to other facilities, resulting in overtime savings; the inmates assigned to the Bootcamp program will be transferred to the general population at the Turner Guilford Knight facility”; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to the County Manager’s memorandum, suspension of the Bootcamp Program would result in estimated savings equal to $1.825 million; and
WHEREAS, recognizing the importance of the Bootcamp Program to this community, this Board wishes to establish as its policy that the Bootcamp Program be continued for fiscal year 2009-10,
Section 1. The foregoing recitals are incorporated in this resolution and are approved.
Section 2. It shall be the policy of this Board that the Bootcamp Program be continued for fiscal year 2009-10.
Section 3. The County Mayor or the County Mayor’s designee shall submit a written report to the Board on or before thirty days from the effective date of this Resolution to inform the Board regarding the status of the reimplementation of the Bootcamp Program.

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