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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Bureau of State Investigations

The Bureau of State Investigations is responsible for conducting criminal, administrative, civil rights and internal affairs investigations. The bureau also coordinates the agency's Get Lean Hot-Line activity, and serves as the final reviewing authority for all "use-of-force" incidents.

Investigations

When completed, criminal investigations are referred to the appropriate State Attorney's Office for prosecution. Administrative and internal affairs investigations 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 1998-99 fiscal year, 14,166 incidents were reported to the Inspector General's Office. Those incidents were classified in the following categories:

LEGEND

CLASSIFICATION OF INCIDENT

NUMBER

CAS

Complaints Against Staff

3,855

IID

Inmate Injuries or Death

1,672

CPV

Crimes vs. Persons (Violent)

2,778

CPN

Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent)

892

EAS

Escape / Attempted Escape

297

SHS

Sexual Harassment (Staff)

32

RPC

Recovery/Possession of Contraband

2,999

CRS

Civil Rights (Staff)

72

EMA

Employee Arrests

343

OTH

Other

1226

  TOTAL

14,166

Incidents by Type (1998-99) : CAS 27%, IID 12%, CPV 20%, CPN 6%, EAS 2%, SHS 0%, RPC 21%, CRS 1 %, EMA 2%, OTH 9%

Of these incidents, 2,605 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

INVESTIGATION ASSIGNMENT

REGION

SENIOR
INSPECTORS

INSTITUTIONAL
INSPECTORS

TOTAL

I

293

624

917

II

150

440

590

III

95

238

333

IV

116

146

262

V

229

274

503

TOTAL

883

1,722

2,605

Of the 2,605 investigations assigned, 2,695 were completed as of June 30, 1999. Of those, 420 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible prosecution.

A total of 127 civil rights cases were assigned to bureau investigators. Those 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 on page 7, 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;
  • Crimes vs. Persons, which include battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon; and
  • Complaints against staff, which include improper conduct, alleged excessive use of force, and staff/offender relationships.

Operational Changes

  • Effective March 1, 1999, Secretary Moore transferred supervision of the institutional inspectors to the Inspector General. Prior to this action, the 52 inspectors had reported to the individual prison wardens. This provides for a greater degree of objectivity and ensures all of the department's investigative resources are housed in one place, separate and apart from operational units.
  • A deputy inspector general position has been created to provide more focus on the investigative unit becoming fully integrated into the state's law enforcement community.
  • In February, 1999, Secretary Moore and FDLE Commissioner Tim Moore signed a Memorandum of Understanding which requires FDLE involvement in criminal cases of a serious nature. This increases the credibility of the department's investigative efforts and expedites the completion of investigations necessitating joint investigative resources.

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 1998-99, the bureau received 55 hot-line complaints. Of those, 45 involved complaints against department staff, and 10 were suggestions for cost savings.

Of the 45 complaints against staff, some form of corrective action was taken in 6 instances to remedy substantiated allegations/complaints. From among the 10 suggestions aimed at cost savings, no measurable savings were reported.

Technology Enhancements

The department is participating in an innovative internet site developed by FDLE and the Office of the Comptroller to combat financial fraud in Florida. The new Strikeforce Against Fraudulent Enterprises (SAFE) web site allows 25 investigative, regulatory and prosecutorial agencies to share fraud investigative data. Recently, the Department of Corrections identified data records in its Inspector General's database which met the criteria for inclusion in the SAFE initiative. This information was forwarded to FDLE and has been added to the SAFE repository of investigative resources, along with a web page profiling the mission of the Inspector General's Office.

Contraband Interdiction Unit

The Contraband Interdiction Unit was established in 1993. The unit's mission is to provide a safer environment for employees, inmates and visitors by discouraging the introduction of contraband at state correctional facilities.

The unit conducts unannounced interdiction operations at Department of Corrections facilities in cooperation with the Florida Highway Patrol canine teams. During these operations, employees, visitors, inmates, vehicles and areas on department grounds are searched for contraband. Employees, visitors and inmates are also subject to inspection by a chemical detection unit that uses technology referred to as Ion Mobility Spectrometry to find traces of illegal drugs on persons and objects.

Interdiction operations during the last three fiscal years yielded the following results:

RESULTS

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

Discipline:    
Employees

29

18

11

Inmates

4

4

19

Arrests:    
Employees

1

6

1

Visitors

20

30

40

Inmates

2

0

1

Seizures:    
Alcohol (gallons)      
commercial

2.4

17.15

6.05

homemade

.75

.25

3.25

Drugs (grams)      
marijuana

84.4

243.85

274.99

cocaine

14.4

6.5

6.61

Weapons      
commercial sharps

911

910

517

homemade sharps

46

51

32

blunt instruments

66

347

109

firearms (in vehicles)

7

8

29

ammunition (in vehicles)

1,017

592

963

Cash

$140.00

$225.00

$106.00

Ionscans:    
Employees

4,079

4,742

6,262

Visitors

2,507

4,253

5,353

Inmates

30

11

737

Total Ionscans

6,616

9,006

12,352

Note: The Office of the Inspector General added a second IONSCAN drug detection unit in 1998 which allows the bureau to provide more as well as simultaneous operations.

Safety and Risk Management

The Safety and Risk Management Unit was established to promote increased safety awareness throughout the department. It endeavors to prevent employee and inmate job-related accidents. The unit also controls risk losses by providing fire and occupational safety for employees and inmates within the department. The Safety and Risk Management Unit has been part of the Office of the Inspector General for the last three years.

Inspections

As in prior years, the major thrust of the department's risk management effort in fiscal year 1998-99 was to prevent fire and occupational safety hazards at all state correctional facilities. Annual fire and OSHA-related safety inspections of established institutions, as well as inspections of new and renovated correctional facilities, help provide a safer work place for employees and volunteers and a safer residential environment for inmates throughout the state correctional system.

Safety and Risk Management continues to play an active role in the operational review process that is conducted every two years at all major correctional facilities. The fire and occupational safety portion of each review is conducted by certified safety inspectors from the Safety and Risk Management Unit.

Training

Training sessions on loss control management were conducted in each region. This training includes accident investigation, analysis of reports detailing outstanding liability claims, review of workers' compensation claims, examination of the department's safety manual, and dealing with lost property. Similar training will be scheduled in fiscal 1999-2000 to insure all field safety staff have this required training. Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus training, which teaches rescue and evacuation techniques from smoke-filled environments, was made available to all institutions through the Florida State Fire College. Several sessions of the department's basic fire and occupational safety orientation were also conducted this year for new safety personnel at various institutions.

Safety Manual

The Department of Corrections Safety and Environmental Health Manual served well for many years and has been used as a model by several other agencies of state government. This year it will undergo a complete revision. Using numerous suggestions from field staff, some forms and procedures are being modified to increase the productivity of the facility safety officers in their unique positions and to better communicate everyday safety to our employees. Training courses for each region will be conducted in the next fiscal year to make all facilities aware of the many changes in this manual.

Future Endeavors

Due to the reorganization of the department and to changes being developed in the safety manual, the safety section of the operational review program must be brought up to date. The central office evacuation procedure for fires and bomb threats will be reviewed and updated as needed following recent threats in neighboring buildings. The Department of Labor has asked our department to participate in evaluating their internet version of injury reporting. When the Department of Corrections can go completely online with this reporting requirement, it will speed up reporting time, reduce paper flow and allow for immediate analysis of accident trends either statewide or locally.

Significant accomplishment during the past year included the following:

  • Construction inspections - 95
  • Fire and occupational safety and operational review building inspections - 4,550
  • 150 hours of training in safety and loss control conducted by the Safety and Risk Management unit.