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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Bureau of State Investigations

The Bureau of State Investigations is responsible for conducting criminal, administrative, 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.

During the 1999-00 fiscal year, 15,937 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

4,602

IID

Inmate Injuries or Death

2,836

CPV

Crimes vs. Persons (Violent)

3,907

CPN

Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent)

1,010

EAS

Escape / Attempted Escape

213

RPC

Recovery/Possession of Contraband

2,409

EMA

Employee Arrests

284

OTH

Other

676

TOTAL

15,937

FY 99-00 Incidents Classified by Type: CAS 29%, IID 18%, CPV 25%, CPN 6%, EAS 1%, RPC 15%, EMA 2%, OTH 4%

Of these incidents, 2,508 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Investigation Assignment by Office

FIELD OFFICE

TOTAL

TALLAHASSEE

662

GAINESVILLE

668

ORLANDO

378

DELRAY BEACH

289

TAMPA

511

TOTAL

2,508

Of the 2,508 investigations assigned, 2,478 were completed as of June 30, 2000. Of those, 333 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible prosecution.

Investigation Highlights

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

  • Complaints against staff, which include improper conduct, alleged excessive use of force, and staff/offender relationships;
  • Crimes vs. Persons, which include battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon; and
  • Inmate injuries or Deaths, which included suicide, suicide attempts, homicides, natural deaths, accidental deaths and injuries.

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 1999/2000, the bureau received 36 hot-line complaints. Of those, 28 involved complaints against department staff, and 8 were suggestions for cost savings however, no measurable savings were reported.

Technology and Organizational Enhancements Aimed at Cost Saving/Efficiency

  • Instituted an investigative routing tracking system whereby the status of any case can be immediately accessed.
  • Realigned institutional inspectors in Region II to establish a satellite office at Union Correctional Institution to evenly distribute workload. Reassigned inspectors from Putnam Correctional Institution and Lancaster Correctional Institution for more effective use of these full time employees.
  • Publication of Inspector Procedures Manual and statewide training to all inspectors to insure minimum standards and consistency in the investigative process.
  • Transferred field staff to establish Use of Force Unit (2 full time employees) to ensure a final independent review of all use of force incidents.
  • All inspectors put on LAN system fiscal year 1999/2000. Changes to cases now done via computer, thereby expediting the process and reducing mail costs.
  • Automated case diary and work record. Field supervisors can access case status automatically.
  • Required monthly reporting on all cases over 45 days. Number of overdue cases was reduced by 20%.
  • Began the development of a Management Information Notification System (MINS). The purpose of this system is to give management timely information on incidents while providing details not reflected in the initial report to the Emergency Action Center (EAC). MINS will replace the current "E"-mail system used for reporting incidents to the Inspector General's Office. It also has a data system feature, whereby the information from all reported incidents will be maintained in a data file.

Photo of dog team.
Sgt. Eric Gonzalez and Ellie are one of the ten dog teams and handlers.
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, conducts searches for illegal narcotics utilizing certified narcotic canines, and oversees the inmate Drug Testing Program. During interdiction 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. The Contraband Interdiction Unit also utilizes certified narcotic canine teams to assist with interdiction operations as well as to conduct searches of department facilities and property. The unit is also responsible for oversight of the inmate drug-testing program.

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

Drug Interdiction Operations

Results

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1999-00

Discipline:
Employees

29

18

11

20

Inmates

4

4

19

70

Arrests:
Employees

1

6

1

3

Visitors

20

30

40

56

Inmates

2

0

1

1

Seizures:
Alcohol (gallons)

0

0

0

0

commercial

2.4

17.15

6.05

46.48

homemade

.75

.25

3.25

0

Drugs (grams)

0

0

0

0

marijuana

84.4

243.85

274.99

138.97

cocaine

14.4

6.5

6.61

11.25

Weapons

0

0

0

0

commercial sharps

911

910

517

904

homemade sharps

46

51

32

30

blunt instruments

66

347

109

26

firearms (in vehicles)

7

8

29

33

ammunition (in vehicles)

1,017

592

963

1,579

Cash

$140.00

$225.00

$106.00

$832.00

Ionscans:
Employees

4,079

4,742

6,262

8,173

Visitors

2,507

4,253

5,353

6,158

Inmates

30

11

737

1,909

Total Ionscans

6,616

9,006

12,352

16,240

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.

Use of Force

The Use of Force Unit was established in August of 1999 at the direction of the Secretary and is staffed by an Inspector Supervisor and a Senior Inspector. The mission of the Unit is to review all incidents of physical force at state correctional facilities and ensure compliance with established rules, procedures and statutes.

To accomplish this, the unit conducts an independent review and evaluation of all force incidents upon receipt of the required reports, associated documents and videotapes from each location. Use of force incidents that reveal possible procedural violations, inmate abuse, excessive/improper/unauthorized force, or battery by correctional employees are referred to the Bureau of State Investigations and an internal investigation is conducted. During this reporting period, 169 use of force incidents have been referred for further investigation.

The following chart categorizes all incidents reported to the Use of Force Unit from November 1, 1999, when the database became operational, through June 30, 2000:

Classification

Reason Force Was Used

Number

27a

Self Defense

359

27b

Escape/Recapture

4

27c

Prevent Escape During Transport

1

27d

Prevent Property Damage

11

27e

Quell A Disturbance

362

27f

Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command

1,418

27g

Prevent Suicide

173

27h

Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment

113

27i

Cell Extraction

72

TOTAL

2,513

Computer Voice Stress Analyzer

The Computer Voice Stress Analyzer (CVSA) is a state-of-the-art computer process that detects voice stress and is used for truth verification. The Office of the Inspector General has purchased 5 CVSA units that have been used extensively during the course of numerous investigations. The CVSA is currently used by over 800 law enforcement agencies. The CVSA has become a much more efficient and effective investigative tool than the previous method of contracting for polygraphs on a case-by-case basis. It is laptop portable with the interviewee speaking into a microphone.

The CVSA is an effective investigative/interview tool, especially when used in combination with advanced interview techniques to determine truthfulness or deception. The certified examiners who operate the CVSA are also inspectors who have many years of investigative experience in the correctional setting.

The results of the CVSA examination are considered by the inspectors and IG management as one factor in assigning resources for an efficient and effective investigation. Other factors might be physical and testimonial evidence, potential hazards to staff and inmates, and collaboration of other interviews.

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 four years.

All facility environmental health and safety officers are now dually responsible to the Safety Program Manager and the Warden of the facility. All safety officers were provided computers at the beginning of this fiscal year and are now online with the department's risk management program.

Inspections

The major thrust of the department's risk management effort in fiscal year 1999-2000 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. The arrival of fiscal year 2000 saw the responsibility for the Environmental Health of the agency to be shifted from the Office of Health Services to 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. 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.

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. It is currently undergoing a significant revision and expansion. 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. Each chapter in the safety manual will be a separate procedure and is being reviewed for applicability. Every effort is being made to complete the process in a timely manner. It is, however, expected that the process will not be completed until late in fiscal year 2000-2001. 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

Organize the account design in the Casualty Report Series to facilitate the timely review of the data now being received via CD-ROM. Electronically transmit the casualty report series data from central office to all facilities for review. Change Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 33 relating to inmate property to provide complete instructions relating to the reimbursement for missing items. Deposit the missing inmate property claim reimbursement checks at Central Office to coincide with the changes being made to the inmate banking system.