The Sarasota County Correctional Facility (SCCF) offers an array of therapeutic, educational, religious, secular, and practical rehabilitative programs for offenders. Our proactive approach provides the necessary tools to assist an incarcerated individual’s successful reentry into the community and assists with barriers that may impede the continued reintegration progress.
Additionally, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Treatment Specialists perform risk-needs assessments to create an individualized case plan. The needs scales are used to assess the scope and type of treatment interventions that may be implemented in a facility or community setting. The fully integrated COMPAS Case Planning Module supports the development and execution of these treatment decisions and facilitates a logical flow of case planning and programming from facility to community.
The SCCF partners with several community providers to implement programs and services that will aid in the reentry process. We are thankful for our hundreds of dedicated volunteers. The success of our programs would not be possible without their commitment to changing the lives of those incarcerated.
Through the combined efforts of our staff, community partners, and volunteers we are able to provide the following programming:
The concept of a “Recovery Pod” is where individuals struggling with substance abuse work together in a recovery focused environment, encouraging them to address their addiction issues, and is consistent with the mission of the Smart Justice philosophy. Residents regularly attend Alcoholic Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings. Community partners bring in additional classes including Recovery Curriculum. Sarasota has recovery pods for both men and women.
The Salvation Army of Sarasota offers a six-week course that addresses substance abuse, relapse prevention and life management skills.
AA meetings are based on a fellowship of men and women who share the goal of sobriety with hopes to stay sober and help others to recover from alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous is based on the Twelve-Step program.
NA is a nonprofit fellowship for men and women who struggle with drug addiction. NA participants are in recovery and meet regularly to support one another in sobriety by using the Twelve-Step program.
The Collaborative Approach to Reintegration through Education (C.A.R.E.) Pod was created out of necessities identified by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and other community partners. C.A.R.E. provides individuals with chronic and persistent mental health conditions an environment conducive to reintegration into society. C.A.R.E. focuses on medication compliance, healthy coping strategies, and effective communication skills. Licensed Mental Health Counselors meet with residents regularly to conduct group counseling and provide individualized treatment sessions.
Veterans Housing Unit
The Veterans Housing Unit was created to provide support for incarcerated veterans, assisting them in reestablishing connections to veteran services provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Residents are evaluated and informed of job opportunities and their possible qualification for GI bill benefits. Residents also receive regular support from Sarasota County’s Veterans Services Officers who advise them of available services upon release.
The goal of the Reentry Pod is to reintegrate incarcerated individuals into the community, reduce recidivism, and improve public safety. Corrections Treatment Specialists facilitate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and case planning. Community partners bring in job skill training, job fairs, peer-to-peer groups, and life skills. The pod aims to reduce barriers by teaching incarcerated individuals how to craft a resume, how to interview, build relationships, manage finances, and more.
A course dedicated to providing an understanding of how to track, manage and use finances effectively. This class is useful to learn basic money management skills and aids in providing tools to help individuals become financially stable.
Jewish Family and Children Services Provides offenders in the Reentry Pod the fatherhood class that helps fathers improve the parent-child relationship, sustain healthy relationships, and identify and support their economic stability and employment objectives.
CareerSource Suncoast provides the opportunity to learn soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. Additionally, incarcerated individuals are taught interview skills and how to build a resume. Vocational scholarships are also available to incarcerated individuals if they are interested in pursuing training in specific fields.
Prisoner Reentry and Recidivism Course
University of South Florida students attend class in the reentry pod to learn about recidivism and reentry. Students and incarcerated individuals are placed in groups that work on a final project exploring ideas to improve reentry programing.
Offenders have access to recreational and academic reading materials via their tablets, offering a variety of content including:
- Adult Education (GED/ABE, K–12 and post-secondary education)
- Juvenile Education (high school equivalency prep)
- Large selection of religious, fiction, and nonfiction books
Safe Staff Food Handler Certificate Program
The Safe Staff course covers topics including food preparation and storage as well as service of food in a food facility. The certificate is required for every non-managerial food employee in a Department of Business & Professional Regulation licensed food service establishment. At graduation, each student receives a certificate good for three (3) years from the date of training.
A 10-Hour course for the construction and general industry professions, teaching health and safety awareness, and risk-reduction of job site hazards. Upon completion of our OSHA online training incarcerated individuals will receive an OSHA 10-hour card.
In partnership with the Sarasota County School District, a variety of secondary education classes are conducted in the Sarasota County Correctional Facility. Corrections staff proctor GED testing inside the facility to ensure compliance. The SCCF is a certified GED test center.
The sewing program teaches individuals the art of sewing as a marketable skill to assist with obtaining employment upon release. Sewing skills can be utilized at employers that offer alterations or upholstery services. The program offsets some of its cost by repairing correctional uniforms, linens, and mattresses.
The Barista program offers incarcerated individuals the unique opportunity to learn how to make specialty coffee drinks while providing excellent customer service. After training, participants work in a minimally supervised environment requiring them to manage a coffee kiosk.
Vocational Pre-Apprentice Training
Vaupal Electric has partnered with Suncoast Technical College to provide instruction for NCCER Core certification. This certification covers basic safety, and introduction to construction math, hand tools, power tools, construction drawings and more. This is the first phase of a 200-hour training that provides students with a pre-apprenticeship. The second phase will focus on either electrical, HVAC, or plumbing pre-apprenticeship training. This program offers an opportunity for employment in a high-demand field.
Partnering with Master Gardeners from the University of Florida Extension, students learn about growing and caring for a variety of plants. This course also provides the ability to obtain state certifications in fertilization.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office personnel have been certified to teach Decision Points. Decision Points is an open-entry cognitive behavior intervention program designed for delivery with youth and adult populations in contact with the justice system. The program is built on the principle of the “Strategy of Choices”, equipping participants with alternative ways to examine their thinking and the related actions that led them into trouble.
The reentry navigators assist soon-to-be released individuals in their personal journey towards reentry and/or recovery by helping to decrease and eliminate reentry barriers which can include housing, employment, and transportation. Once released, individuals work with the navigators to ensure their initial basic needs are met. In addition, the reentry navigators provide advocacy, guidance, motivation, and knowledge.
Human Trafficking Education
Selah Freedom presents this program to helps women identify and recognize risk-factors, red flags, and the methods of sex traffickers and recruiters. Selah Freedom brings hope to the many women who have been trafficked.
Addicted to Christ - Christian-based religious programming
Bayside Freedom - Christian-based religious programming
Bible Study - A closer look at Bible teachings
Catholic Mass - Catholic religious services
Jehovah Witness - Christian-based religious programming
Jumu’ah - Islamic prayer group
Praise and Worship - Christian-based religious programming
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT)
In April of 2020, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office partnered with inmate medical provider NaphCare and First Step of Sarasota to create a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program. MAT helps patients with opiate use disorder by providing medication assistance that controls cravings for opiates while sustaining recovery. Once released, the medication is used in conjunction with recovery peer services and case management provided by our community partner, First Step of Sarasota.
Florida ID Services
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office coordinates with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) to provide identification cards and drivers licenses to those who qualify. The Florida Licensing on Wheels (FLOW) bus visits the Sarasota County Correctional Facility intermittently throughout the year.
Bus Pass Program
Transportation is one of several significant barriers to successful re-entry. For that reason, bus passes are provided for newly released individuals on a case-by-case basis who are attending outside programs, medical appointments, court-ordered treatment, or job placement programs. Bus passes are also issued for individuals that want to reunite with their family outside of Sarasota, Florida on a case by case basis.
Job Fair/CEO Program
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office partners with Career Source and Project 180 to offer job fairs for incarcerated people that are nearing their release. CEOs from community organizations offer insight on what employers are looking for, and how to interview and keep a job. Second chance employers come into the facility and interview incarcerated individuals allowing them an opportunity to not only practice their interview skills, but also to obtain employment prior to leaving the facility.
Individuals interested in programs may submit a request via the incarcerated individual’s tablet. Eligibility is contingent upon housing locations, classification, and disciplinary status. Classes are subject to change based on demand, operational considerations, and availability.