Monica was raised in Bradenton, Florida where she graduated from Manatee High School in 1978. She attended Eastern Kentucky University and graduated in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Corrections. In 1997, Monica received her Master of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of South Florida.Monica began her criminal justice career working for the Florida Department of Corrections where she started as a Correctional Officer in a work release center. She was promoted to Institutional Vocational Counselor where she was responsible for inmate employment in the community. In 1985, Monica started her work in Probation and Parole as a Correctional Probation Officer where she served as a field officer for over seven years. In 1993, Monica was promoted to a Correctional Probation Supervisor where she continued her career with the Department of Corrections.
In 1994, with the creation of the new Department of Juvenile Justice, Monica received juvenile corrections experience by working in juvenile detention, home detention and juvenile commitment programs. In August of 1998 Monica was appointed the Victim Services Release Administrator for the Florida Parole Commission. In February of 2000 she accepted a promotion to return to the Department of Corrections to work as a Programs Administrator in the area of community corrections. On October 2, 2000 the Florida Governor and Cabinet appointed Monica to her first 6-year term as a Florida Parole Commissioner where she served 3 Governor’s until June 30, 2012. During her years as a Florida Parole Commissioner she served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Secretary.
Monica has received extensive training in the criminal justice field, which includes Correctional Officer and Correctional Probation certifications. She is also a certified Florida Department of Law Enforcement instructor. She served on the Governor’s Ex-Offenders Task Force where she and other criminal justice professionals made recommendations concerning the reentry of offenders as they were released from prison back into their local communities.
Monica is a member of the Florida Council on Crime and Delinquency where she was awarded the “Distinguished Service Award” in Criminal Justice. While serving as President of the local chapter she received the “Chapter Effectiveness Award” in recognition of her exemplary leadership. She has served on the State Board as Secretary and Treasurer and is currently the Awards Training Chair.
Monica has been a long standing member of APAI and served as a representative of APAI in the Congress of the American Correctional Association as a Commissioner for Accreditation. In December of 2015 she was named the Chief Administrative Officer of APAI.