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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

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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, inmate drug testing program, contraband interdiction program and serves as the final reviewing authority for all "use-of-force" incidents.

Annual Investigators Training

The annual statewide investigators training (August 20-23, 2001) took a new approach this year. A total of 145 attended, with 20-plus investigators attending from outside law enforcement agencies, including FDLE and sheriffs offices. The majority of the training costs were funded by the Criminal Justice Training Trust Fund. Highlights included a presentation on drug investigations by a DEA agent and Miami-Dade narcotics detective; sexual misconduct investigations by the State Attorney's Office; and investigative techniques, particularly the investigation of the escape of the "Texas 7" by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's Inspector General.

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 2000-2001 fiscal year, 17,524 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

5,198

IID

Inmate Injuries or Death

2,590

CPV

Crimes vs. Persons (Violent)

3,437

CPN

Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent)

782

EAS

Escape / Attempted Escape

286

RPC

Recovery/Possession of Contraband

2,927

EMA

Employee Arrests

276

OTH

Other

2,028

TOTAL

17,524

FY 00-01 Incidents Classified by Type: CAS 29%, IID 15%, CPV 19%, CPN 4%, EAS 2%, RPC 17%, EMA 2%, OTH 12%

Of these incidents, 2,035 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Investigation Assignment by Office

Field Office

Investigations

Tallahassee

621

Gainesville

593

Orlando

215

Delray Beach

284

Tampa

322

Total

2,035

Of the 2,035 investigations assigned, 1,527 were completed as of June 30, 2001. Of those, 334 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible prosecution.

Investigation Highlights

As illustrated by the "Classification of Incident" chart above, 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.
  • Recovery and possession of contraband.

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 2000-2001, the bureau received 49 hot-line complaints. Of those, 30 involved complaints against department staff, and 19 were suggestions for cost savings.

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, searching for illegal narcotics utilizing certified narcotic canines as well as other contraband. 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 the Ion Mobility Spectrometry, to find traces of illegal drugs.

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

Drug Interdiction Operations

Results

1998-99

1999-00

2000-01

Discipline:
  Employees

11

20

15

  Inmates

19

70

29

Arrests:
  Employees

1

3

0

  Visitors

40

56

44

  Inmates

1

1

4

Seizures:
Alcohol (gallons)      
  commercial

6.05

46.45

20.68

  homemade

3.25

0

0.16

Drugs (grams)      
  marijuana

274.99

138.97

291.5

  cocaine

6.61

11.25

16.6

Weapons      
  commercial sharps

517

904

227

  homemade sharps

32

30

10

  blunt instruments

109

26

20

  firearms (in vehicles)

29

33

11

  ammunition (in vehicles)

963

1,579

219

Cash

$106.00

$832.00

$513.00

Ionscans:
  Employees

6,262

8,173

4,287

  Visitors

5,353

6,158

4,507

  Inmates

737

1,909

756

  Total Ionscans

12,352

16,240

9,550

Photo of dog teams.
Department of Corrections Narcotic K-9 Teams

Narcotic K-9 Teams

This fiscal year the Office of the Inspector General outfitted ten full-time K-9 teams with new specially equipped trucks equipped through a federal drug interdiction grant. The ten full time K-9 teams are now fully equipped with vehicles set-up specifically for K-9's and their work. Special equipment included heat alarms, safes to store training narcotics, and decals that identify them as DC Narcotic K-9 vehicles.

The K-9 teams work in conjunction with the Inspector General's Contraband Interdiction Unit, participating in contraband interdictions, conducting searches at DC prisons and other facilities and assisting local law enforcement. The unit is already achieving excellent results, having logged over 205 drug seizures since beginning operation.

Inmate Drug Testing Unit

The Department's Drug Testing Unit oversees the inmate random drug-testing program in which a statistically valid sample of the inmate population is selected and tested for illegal substances each month through a computerized random selection system. In addition to random drug tests, the program also includes "for cause" testing of any inmate based on reasonable suspicion of involvement with drugs or alcohol. The role of testing, as an integral part of effective abuse treatment programs has been recognized as highly effective in identifying those who have substance abuse problems, getting them into treatment and monitoring them during the treatment process. Since the inception of the drug-testing program in January 1994, the rate of positive tests has declined from 6% to 1.09%.

Random Drug Tests:

Total
Selected

Not
Tested

Valid
Tests

Negative
Tests

Positive
Tests

Percent
Positive

72,981

12,111

60,869

60,208

661

1.09%

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, 274 use of force incidents have been referred for further investigation.

The following chart categorizes all incidents reported to the Use of Force Unit for fiscal year 2000-01:

Classification

Reason Force Was Used

Number

27a

Self Defense

571

27b

Escape/Recapture

8

27c

Prevent Escape During Transport

5

27d

Prevent Property Damage

12

27e

Quell A Disturbance

1,040

27f

Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command

1,538

27g

Prevent Suicide

304

27h

Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment

170

27i

Cell Extraction

90

TOTAL

3,738

Violent Fugitive Task Force

Inspectors from the Office of the Inspector General participate in the North Florida Violent Fugitive Task Force. The Inspectors are sworn Deputy U.S. Marshals and work to locate and arrest violent fugitives. Cases include both absconders and escapes from the Department of Corrections, as well as, other state and federal fugitives.