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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

The Bureau of State Investigations

The Bureau of State Investigations is responsible for conducting criminal, administrative, civil rights and internal affairs investigations and for coordinating the agency's Get Lean Hot-Line activity.

When completed, criminal investigations are referred to the appropriate State Attorney's Office for prosecution. Administrative and Internal Affairs investi-gations are referred to management for appropriate follow-up action. Civil rights cases are referred to the Bureau of Personnel to determine cause/no cause.

During the 1997-98 fiscal year, 13,655 incidents were reported to the Inspector General's Office. Those incidents were classified in the following categories:

Complaints Against Staff 3,576
Inmate Injuries or Death 1,314
Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 2,624
Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 853
Escape / Attempted Escape 266
Sexual Harassment (Staff) 37
Recovery/Possession of Contraband 3,599
Civil Rights (Staff) 127
Employee Arrests 319
Other 940
TOTAL 13,655

1997-98 Incidents by Type: CPV 19%, IID 10%, CAS 27%, OTH 7%, EMA 2%, CRS 1%, RPC 26%, SHS 0%, EAS 2%, CPN 6%

Of these incidents, 2,714 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Region IG
I 310 606 1 917
II 184 408 2 594
III 140 169 22 331
IV 139 154 22 315
V 247 260 50 557
TOTAL 1,020 1,597 97 2,714

Of the 2,714 investigations assigned, 2,682 were completed as of June 30, 1998. A total of 476 cases were completed and forwarded to the State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible prosecution. A total of 127 civil rights cases were assigned to Bureau investigators. These cases were both internal (originating within the Department of Corrections) and external (referred to this Department for investigation by the Florida Commission on Human Relations and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).

Investigation Highlights

As illustrated by the "Classification of Incident" chart above, the majority of reported incidents involved:

  • Recovery/possession of contraband such as alcohol (including inmates' home-made buck), inmate-made weapons, drugs, money, and other forms of contraband;
  • Complaints against staff, which include improper conduct, excessive use of force, and staff/offender relationships; and
  • Crimes vs. Persons, which include battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon.

Of those allegations investigated, some examples of the types of cases include:

  • Physical Abuse
    The vast majority of inmate complaints alleging physical abuse by staff end up unsubstantiated. Regrettably, one of the IG's major cases this year did involve reported inmate abuse at Charlotte Correctional Institution. Extensive investigation by the IG's Office in conjunction with both the State Attorney's Office and U.S. Attorney's Office led to grand jury indictments of ten correctional officers named in this incident. The case is currently pending prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    As regrettable as this incident was, the investigation is illustrative of the Department's continued commitment to investigate all reported incidents of misconduct or rule violations, regard-less of who it involves or where it occurs. Our job is to present as complete a picture as possible of all the facts, so that management or the State Attorney's Office can take appropriate action based on those facts.

  • Employee Theft
    An employee working as an accountant in the Region V Court Ordered Payment System's office, manipulated the system's computer database to create and issue $128,950 worth of fraudulent checks. The employee and three co-conspirators cashed the checks and benefited from the proceeds. The investigation, conducted in cooperation with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Statewide Prosecutor's Office, led to the arrest and successful prosecution of four individuals.

    In another case, the Office of the Inspector General received information indicating a former correctional officer had stolen automotive parts from a motor pool at one of the agency's major institutions. The parts were being used in the officer's private automotive repair business which was being operated by a former inmate.

    Subsequent investigation determined that the correctional officer supervised the motor pool and arranged for the purchase of automotive parts himself. Additionally, it was determined that the correctional officer was by-passing purchasing requirements and obtaining the automotive parts without authorization. Inspection of institutional vehicles and witnesses' statements indicated the parts paid for by the institution were not installed on Department vehicles.

    At the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that over $70,000 in automotive parts had been purchased by the former officer, far exceeding a repair parts budget of approximately $19,000. The case was referred to the State Attorney's Office for criminal prosecution.

  • Fraud
    A female inmate had schemed to obtain a large amount of money from her 80-year-old mother. Investigation revealed that this inmate received about $28,414 from her mother and gave it to other inmates. The inmate falsely told her mother the money was to pay fines. She also used another inmate to pose as a member of the institution's business department and talked to the elderly woman by telephone to verify the sending of certain monies.

    As the case came to a close, a full confession was obtained from the subject. A portion of the money, $6,825, was recovered from inmates' accounts and repaid to the victim. The subject is currently pending felony charges for Exploitation of the Elderly in violation of Florida statutes.

  • Drug Sting
    At one correctional facility, a major drug investigation was opened based on information from a confidential informant. A drug buy/bust was arranged in cooperation with the Leon County Drug Task Force. This resulted in the arrest of a correctional officer for sale and delivery, as well as grand theft of jewelry found during a search of his vehicle. The subject's wife was also arrested for conspiracy to introduce drugs into a correctional facility. A search warrant was subsequently executed at the house where the subject had purchased the drugs, resulting in the arrest of four other individuals on various drug charges.
Get Lean Hot-Line
    The Bureau also coordinates Department responses to suggestions and complaints received via the Comptroller's Get Lean Hot-Line. During FY 1997/1998, the Bureau received 93 hot-line complaints. Of those, 75 involved complaints against Department staff, 2 involved questions or complaints on Department policy, and 13 were suggestions for cost savings.

    Of the 75 complaints against staff, some form of corrective action was taken in 14 instances to remedy substantiated allegations/complaints. From among the 13 suggestions aimed at cost savings, no measurable savings were reported.

Technology Enhancements

    In February 1998, the investigation data system (IGLOGS) was implemented statewide. Developed in 1992, the system was primarily a Central Office program, but is now installed in the five regional inspector offices. This allows each inspector to have instant access to reported incidents, investigation summaries, case counts, and contraband data, and provides numerous new data reports. Additionally, all forty (40) field level inspectors received new LAN-based state-of-the-art personal computers with access to the Internet, IGLOGS, DC Mail and the Corrections Data Center.

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