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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, "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 2004-05 fiscal year, 21,691 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 6,328
IID Inmate Injuries or Death 3,217
CPV Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 3,879
CPN Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 690
EAS Escape / Attempted Escape 325
RPC Recovery/Possession of Contraband 2,704
EMA Employee Arrests 285 
OTH Other 4,263
TOTAL 21,691

Of these 21,691 incidents, 5,424 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Field Office Senior Inspectors Institutional Inspectors Total
Tallahassee 334 754 1,088
Gainesville 598 1,426 2,024
Orlando 394 419 813
Ft. Lauderdale 351 436 787
Tampa 342 370 712
TOTAL 2,019 3,405 5,424

Of the 5,424 investigations assigned, 220 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible criminal prosecution.

FY 04-05 Incidents Classified by Type: CAS 29%, IID 15%, CPV 18%, CPN 3%, EAS 1%, RPC 12%, EMA 1%, OTH 20%

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. (29%)
  • Crimes vs. Persons, including battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon. (18%)
  • Inmate Injuries or Deaths, which included suicide, suicide attempts, homicides, natural deaths, accidental deaths and injuries. (15%)
  • Recovery and Possession of Contraband. (12%)

Corrections Intelligence Unit

The Office of the Inspector General created the Corrections Intelligence Unit in 2004 as part of its Intelligence/Interdiction Unit. Two full-time analysts with the ability to conduct investigations are assigned to the unit. Unit activities include the following:

  • Responsibility for agency Homeland Security (HS)issues, including dissemination of HS bulletins, coordination with other agencies, participation in the North Florida Regional Domestic Security Task Force, and involvement in the Federal Correctional Intelligence Initiative

  • Providing tracking data and analysis of selected investigative activities such as PREA incidents and drug recoveries

  • Conducting a monthly analysis of physical force allegations against corrections staff

  • Operating the statewide Inmate Drug Testing Program

  • Serving as a clearinghouse for investigative intelligence information that is developed by inspectors statewide, and distributing the information to appropriate law enforcement officials both within and outside the agency

  • Coordinating Department of Corrections assistance in criminal investigative matters with other agencies such as FDLE, the FBI and the IRS.

Inmate Drug Testing Program

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 2004-05
Reason for Test
Total Selected
Not Tested
Valid Tests
Negative Tests
Positive Tests
Percent Positive
Random
50,535
4,071
46,464
45,526
938
2.02%
For Cause
6,078
223
5,855
4,476
1,379
23.55%
Drug Treatment Program (SAP)
38,147
1,746
36,401
36,348
53
0.14%
TOTAL
94,760
6,040
88,720
86,350
2,370
2.67%

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, 2004 through June 30, 2005:

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A Self Defense 387
27B Escape/Recapture 17
27C Prevent Escape During Transport 10
27D Prevent Property Damage 6
27E Quell A Disturbance 1,392
27F Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command 1,330
27G Prevent Suicide 124
27H Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment 102
27I Cell Extraction 120
27J Mental Health Restraint 193
TOTAL 3,681