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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, "Prison Tips" program, and serves as the final reviewing authority for all "use-of-force" incidents.

Law Enforcement Authority

The 2002 Legislature passed CS/SB 408 which gives the Secretary authority to designate inspectors within the Inspector General's Office as sworn law enforcement officers. This change became effective April 23, 2002. This was one of Secretary Moore's top priorities upon taking office and will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the Inspector General's Office.


Governor Bush signs SB 408.

Governor Bush meets with
FDC Inspectors.

"What are the benefits of this legislation?"

  • Increased professionalism and skills of investigative staff. Inspectors will have to be law enforcement certified pursuant to Chapter 943.1395, the same requirements as all law enforcement officers in the state. Law Enforcement skills and training are more related to an inspector's duties than the former correctional officer certification.
  • Will allow Inspector General Staff to participate on Law Enforcement Task Forces and joint investigations as an equal partner.
  • Will free up outside law enforcement (Sheriff's, Highway Patrol, & FDLE) from having to effect arrests for the Department of Corrections.

"How will this effect Department of Corrections employees?"

  • Increased confidence in the work of the Inspector General's Office will be a beneficial by-product for all involved. Better-trained investigators means improved investigations.
  • Increased access to law enforcement technology and techniques will enhance the ability of the Inspector General's Office to perform their job. Without law enforcement authority the Department of Corrections was dependent on others to "help us out". Now we can take care of our own house, which also should increase the confidence of those outside the agency who judge us on how we handle investigative matters.

"How will this be implemented?"

  • A phased in approach will ensure that it is done right. A small cadre of inspectors with previous outside law enforcement experience will be sworn in. As other inspectors receive their law enforcement certification, spend time working alongside an experienced officer, and are deemed ready they will then be added to the sworn contingent.

Prison Tips

Under the direction of Secretary Moore, the Department of Corrections has initiated the "Prison Tips" program. The goal of the program is to garner valuable criminal intelligence on unsolved and ongoing criminal activity, both inside and outside the department, from inmates, probationers, and other persons who may have knowledge of this type of activity. The "Prison Tips" program offers an anonymous method to provide this information.

The system utilizes a special number where "TIPS" can be dialed from all inmate phones located inside all department facilities, as well as, 1-866-599-1778, which can be called from phones outside the facilities. All calls are on a secured line that will go directly into a system monitored by the Office of the Inspector General. Criminal intelligence that is gathered will be disseminated to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the crime.

Individuals calling have the option of establishing a voice mailbox, which can be accessed by a randomly generated pass code, to receive information back from the Inspector General's Office on the status of the information they provided. This will also provide a mechanism to stay in contact with the individual should they be eligible for a monetary reward offered by law enforcement.

Posters and brochures have been distributed to all department facilities and probation offices explaining how this system works.

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 2001-2002 fiscal year, 19,438 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 5,634
IID Inmate Injuries or Death 2,745
CPV Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 3,717
CPN Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 847
EAS Escape / Attempted Escape 214
RPC Recovery/Possession of Contraband 3,290
EMA Employee Arrests 253
OTH Other 2,738
TOTAL 19,438

Of these 19,438 incidents, 1,648 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

FIELD OFFICE SENIOR INSPECTORS INSTITUTIONAL INSPECTORS TOTAL
TALLAHASSEE 108 410 518
GAINESVILLE 149 366 515
ORLANDO 96 188 284
TAMPA 145 186 331
TOTAL 498 1,150 1,648

Of the 1,648 investigations assigned, 357 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible prosecution.

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

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. Of all reportable incidents against staff, 8% were sustained, 90% unsubstantiated and 2% exonerated.
  • Crimes vs. Persons, which include battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon.
  • 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 2001-2002, the bureau received 69 "Hot-Line" complaints. Of those, 52 involved complaints against department staff, 17 were suggestions for cost savings, and 1 involved agency policy.

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, as well as searches for 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 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
Discipline:
  Employees 20 15 7
  Inmates 70 29 19
Arrests:
  Employees 3 0 1
  Visitors 56 44 55
  Inmates 1 4 0
Seizures:
Alcohol (gallons)      
  commercial 46.45 20.68 61.07
  homemade 0 0.16 2
Drugs (grams)      
  marijuana 138.97 291.5 922.73
  cocaine 11.25 16.6 12.02
Weapons      
  commercial sharps 904 227 36
  homemade sharps 30 10 4
  blunt instruments 26 20 0
  firearms (in vehicles) 33 11 11
  ammunition (in vehicles) 1579 219 450
Cash $832.00 $513.00 $266.00
Ionscans:
  Employees 8,173 4,287 1,474
  Visitors 6,158 4,507 2,285
  Inmates 1,909 756 214
  Total Ionscans 16,240 9,550 3,973

Narcotic K-9 Teams

The Office of the Inspector General has ten full-time K-9 teams with specially equipped vehicles. The K-9 teams work in conjunction with the Inspector General's Contraband Interdiction Unit, participating in contraband interdictions, conducting searches at Department of Corrections prisons and other facilities and assisting local law enforcement with interdiction operations, searches of schools and local jails.

During fiscal year 2001-2002 (their first full year of operation) the teams were responsible for the seizure of over 1600 grams of marijuana and 117 arrests. The teams assisted outside agencies 64 times.

Photo of dog teams.

Inmate Drug Testing Unit

The Department's Drug Testing Unit oversees the inmate 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.

Inmate Drug Tests FY 01-02:
Reason for Test Total Selected Not Tested Valid Tests Negative Tests Positive Tests Percent Positive
Random 42,494 4,417 38,077 37,456 621 1.6%
For cause 7,827 221 7,606 6,075 1,531 20.1%
Drug Treatment Program 51,002 4,432 46,570 46,487 83 .18%
TOTAL 101,323 9,070 92,253 90,018 2,235 2.4%

Davis Productivity Award - Cost Reduction, Increased Efficiency of Inmate Drug Testing Program

A team comprised of staff from FDC's Office of the Inspector General and the Bureau of Research and Planning developed a new type of sampling method, drug test, and data entry process that eliminated the need for 16 correctional officers, who have been assigned other duties, for an annual recurring savings of $879,000. The new process eliminated the need for 16 off-site testing labs, reduced the cost of each on-site test, and streamlined data entry and the number of tests required. It can be adapted by jails, treatment centers, or businesses. The staff from both offices involved in this process were given a Davis Productivity Award for their successful efforts.

North Florida Violent Fugitive Task Force's "Operation Season's Greetings"

"Operation Season's Greetings" was sponsored by the North Florida Violent Fugitive Task Force targeting fugitives in the Tallahassee area and staff for the four teams were comprised of investigators from the Tallahassee Police Department, Leon County Sheriff's Office, Gadsden Sheriff's Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Department of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Marshall Serivce. Three FDC IG employees participated and were part of the task force: Jeff Johnson, Jimmy Keen and Chuck Wynn. All three are sworn U.S. Marshall Special Deputies and have been part of the task force for over 2 years.

In recognition of the increase in crime during the holiday season, 100 repeat and violent offenders were targeted for arrest with the goal of reducing crime and increasing public safety. The fugitives were wanted for a variety of crimes ranging from attempted murder to multiple counts of fraud. The investigators, supported by a team analyst, worked each day from pre-dawn hours until late in the evening, in pursuit of their quarry.

The Operation resulted in the arrest of 55 fugitives, and clearing 145 warrants. The effort to locate the remaining fugitives will continue until their apprehension.

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 correctional facility or office. Use of force reports or videotapes 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, 173 use of force incidents have been referred for further investigation.

The Use of Force Database has been enhanced to provide automatic notification to management of pertinent information regarding employee involvement in use of force incidents. Improvement to the database also allows the designation of major or minor use of force incidents based on standardized criteria, and the ability to provide ad hoc reports as necessary. Use of force incidents are classified as major incidents whenever chemical agent CS or the ERD is used, and/or whenever outside medical treatment is required for employees or inmates as a result of the incident of force.

The following chart categorizes all incidents reported to the Use of Force Unit from July 1, 2001 through June 30, 2002. Of this total number, 11% were categorized as major use of force incidents.

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A Self Defense 439
27B Escape/Recapture 6
27C Prevent Escape During Transport 0
27D Prevent Property Damage 6
27E Quell A Disturbance 1,276
27F Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command 1,347
27G Prevent Suicide 243
27H Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment 290
27I Cell Extraction 68
TOTAL 3,675