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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim 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, "Prison Tips" program, 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 2003-04 fiscal year, 20,012 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 5,768
IID Inmate Injuries or Death 2,881
CPV Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 3,721
CPN Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 684
EAS Escape / Attempted Escape 278
RPC Recovery/Possession of Contraband 2,828
EMA Employee Arrests 266 
OTH Other 3,614
TOTAL 20,040

Of these 20,012 incidents, 4,760 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Field Office Senior Inspectors Institutional Inspectors Total
Tallahassee 371 873 1,244
Gainesville 291 1,210 1,501
Orlando 291 454 745
Ft. Lauderdale 310 409 719
Tampa 250 301 551
TOTAL 1,513 3,247 4,760

Of the 4,760 investigations assigned, 288 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible criminal prosecution.

FY 03-04 Incidents Classified by Type: CAS 30%, IID 14%, CPV 19%, CPN 3%, EAS 1%, RPC 14%, EMA 1%, OTH 18%

Investigation Highlights

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

  • Complaints Against Staff, including improper conduct, alleged excessive use of force, and staff/offender relationships. (30%)
  • Crimes vs. Persons, including battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon. (19%)
  • Inmate Injuries or Deaths, which included suicide, suicide attempts, homicides, natural deaths, accidental deaths and injuries. (14%)
  • Recovery and Possession of Contraband. (14%)

Get Lean Hot-Line

The Bureau also coordinates department responses to suggestions and complaints received via the Comptroller's Get Lean Hot-Line. During the fiscal year 2003-04, the Bureau received 23 "Hot-Line" complaints. Of those, 15 involved complaints against department staff and 8 were suggestions for cost savings.

Inmate Drug Testing Unit

The bureau's Inmate Drug Testing Unit administers a statewide program in which randomly selected samples of the inmate population are tested each month for illegal substances. In addition to these random tests, the program also conducts "for cause" testing and testing of inmates enrolled in substance abuse treatment programs (SAP). "For cause" testing is conducted when there is a reasonable suspicion that an inmate is involved with alcohol or illegal substances. SAP guidelines require monthly testing of inmates enrolled in drug treatment. Testing is an integral part of the substance abuse treatment programs and also serves as a deterrent to illegal drug use in the correctional setting. It is recognized as an effective method for identifying inmates with substance abuse problems, and targeting them for further treatment and monitoring.

The Inmate Drug Testing Unit provides technical support for field staff and analyzes test results to determine trends and problem areas. The chart below shows test results for the last fiscal year.

Inmate Drug Tests FY 2003-04
Reason for Test
Total Selected
Not Tested
Valid Tests
Negative Tests
Positive Tests
Percent Positive
Random
49,073
4,319
44,718
43,835
883
1.97%
For Cause
5,954
207
5,747
4,342
1,405
24.45%
Drug Treatment Program (SAP)
31,494
1,473
30,021
29,955
66
0.22%
TOTAL
86,521
5,999
80,486
78,132
2,354
2.92%

Prison Tips

The Bureau oversees 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 received on a secured line that passes directly into a system monitored by the Office of the Inspector General.  Information provided by callers is reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate Department staff or law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the alleged activity.

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.

Use of Force

The Use of Force Unit was established in August 1999 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.

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, 2003 through June 30, 2004:

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A Self Defense 435
27B Escape/Recapture 25
27C Prevent Escape During Transport 48
27D Prevent Property Damage 9
27E Quell A Disturbance 1,696
27F Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command 1,344
27G Prevent Suicide 114
27H Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment 89
27I Cell Extraction 80
27J P&P Handcuffing 122
TOTAL 3,962