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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, 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.


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 2005-06 fiscal year, 24,896 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 7,352
IID Inmate Injuries or Death 3,233
CPV Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 4,402
CPN Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 682
EAS Escape / Attempted Escape 404
RPC Recovery/Possession of Contraband 2,712
EMA Employee Arrests 295
OTH Other 5,816
TOTAL 24,896

Of these 24,896 incidents, 5,803 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Field Office Senior Inspectors Institutional Inspectors Total
Tallahassee 429 779 1,208
Gainesville 886 1,390 2,276
Orlando 389 390 779
Ft. Lauderdale 439 361 800
Tampa 356 384 740
TOTAL 2,499 3,304 5,803

Of the 5,803 investigations assigned, 167 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible criminal prosecution.

FY 04-05 Incidents Classified by Type: CAS 29%, IID 13%, CPV 18%, CPN 3%, EAS 2%, RPC 11%, EMA 1%, OTH 23%

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. (29%)
  • Crimes vs. Persons, which include 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. (13%)
  • Recovery and possession of contraband. (11%)

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 2005-2006, the bureau received 25 "Hot-Line" complaints. Of those, 22 involved complaints against department staff and 3 were suggestions for cost savings.

Corrections Intelligence Unit

The Office of the Inspector General created the Corrections Intelligence Unit in 2005 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 with 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 problems areas. The chart below shows test results for the last fiscal year.

Inmate Drug Tests FY 2005-06
Reason for Test Total Selected Not Tested Valid Tests Negative Tests Positive Tests Percent Positive
Random 52,713 4,688 48,025 46,944 1,081 2.25%
For Cause 6,582 245 6,337 4,920 1,417 22.36%
Drug Treatment Program (SAP) 43,748 2,489 41,259 41,223 36 0.09%
TOTAL 103,043 7,422 95,621 93,087 2,534 2.65

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 of 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, 2005 through June 30, 2006.

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A Self Defense 422
27B Escape/Recapture 8
27C Prevent Escape During Transport 4
27D Prevent Property Damage 7
27E Quell A Disturbance 1,509
27F Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command 1,256
27G Prevent Suicide 118
27H Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment 102
27I Cell Extraction 139
27J Mental Health Restraint 199
27K P & P Handcuffing 5
TOTAL 3,769

Contraband Interdiction Unit

The Contraband Interdiction Unit was established in 1993, and re-energized in early 2006. The unit's mission is to provide a safer environment for employees, inmates and visitors by discouraging the introduction of contraband, and in particular the introduction of illegal narcotics, at state correctional facilities.

The unit conducts unannounced interdiction operations at Department of Correction facilities, conducts searches for illegal narcotics utilizing Inspectors assigned to the unit and certified narcotic canines, as well as searches for other contraband. During interdiction operations, employees, visitors, volunteers, inmates, vehicles and areas on department grounds are searched for contraband. Employees, visitors, volunteers 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.

Narcotic Canine Teams

In the latter part of this fiscal year the Office of the Inspector General began the process of restoring the Drug Detection Canine Unit for use in conducting Interdiction operations. When fully staffed, the unit will consist of nine full-time Canine teams with specially equipped vehicles, located strategically around the State. The Canine teams work in conjunction with the Inspector General's Contraband Interdiction Unit, participating in contraband interdictions and conducting searches at Department of Correction prisons and other facilities. The Canine teams also work closely with all of the Institutional Inspectors and provide investigative support whenever needed.

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