FDOC expresses intent to reopen Holmes Work Camp

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The Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) contacted officials with the Holmes County Development Commission (HCDC) to advise of the agency’s plans to re-open the Holmes Correctional Institution Work Camp. 

The now-shuttered work camp became one of many across the state in early 2021 to be consolidated into a main institution when a large number of FDC’s major institutions were at or below critical staffing levels. 

At the time Holmes Work Camp operations were suspended, FDC officials told the Holmes County Advertiser there simply wasn’t staff to safely run every facility and that they were hopeful the facility would eventually re-open.

FDC stated in a July 19 letter to HCDC that it plans to resume operations at the work camp effective August 1 utilizing a “phased-in approach” with the goal of fully resuming operations “in the near future.”

“The Florida Department of Corrections has been successfully recruiting staff to return a safe staffing level to Holmes Correctional Institution,” wrote FDOC Executive Senior Attorney Gretchen Kelley Brantley. 

“Our ability to reopen the Holmes Work Camp will further the efforts of the FDC to return the lower risk inmates into the appropriate environment in support of the overall mission at Holmes C.I.”

HCDC gifted FDC with  the 40-acre property in 1991 with a caveat that FDC was to employ 35 persons “at all times.” HCDC also donated 160 acres to FDC in the late 1980s to help establish the Holmes C.I. Main Unit; however, there is no reverter clause associated with that property.

HCDC Executive Director Joe Rone says he is hopeful the agencies can work something out.

“We are good partners with the Florida Department of Corrections, and they have done a lot for Holmes County,” said Rone. “We are hopeful to continue that relationship.”

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