The Florida Environmental Institute (FEI), also known as the “Last Chance Ranch,” serves some of Florida’s serious and violent juvenile offenders. Almost two-thirds of FEI youths are committed for violent crimes; the remainder, for chronic property or drug offenses. Overall, admissions are at moderate risk of recidivism. Located in a swamp in a remote area of the state, FEI is a highly structured, environmentally secure program that consists of several phases. In the FEI facility, where there is a low staff-to-client ratio, clients spend about a year in a program that includes therapeutic physical labor, educational and vocational training, a restitution component, and reintegration programming. Clients are then assisted with community living in an extensive aftercare phase. Evaluations of the program have shown quite promising results (see Krisberg et al., 1995, pp. 164–165). FEI has produced much lower recidivism rates than other Florida correctional programs, and the state has replicated the program in other localities.
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: Promising program
Mr. O. B. Stander, President
Associated Marine Institutes
5915 Benjamin Center Drive
Tampa, FL 33634
Phone: (813) 887-3300
Fax: (813) 889-8092
Web site: http://www.amikids.org/
Krisberg, B.; Currie, E.; Onek, D.; and Wiebush, R. G. (1995). “Graduated Sanctions for Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders.” In J. C. Howell, B. Krisberg, J. D. Hawkins, and J. J. Wilson (eds.), A Sourcebook: Serious, Violent, and Chronic Juvenile Offenders. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 142–170.