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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 inmate drug testing program, contraband interdiction program, "Prison Tips" hotline, 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 2008-09 fiscal year, 32,530 incidents were reported to the Inspector General's Office. Those incidents were classified in the following categories:

2008-2009 Incidents Classified by Type: Escapge / Attempted Escape 1%, Recovery/Possession of Contraband 15%, Employee Arrests 1%, Other 23%, Complaints Against Staff 31%, Inmate Injuries or Death 9%, Crimes vs. Persons (violent) 18%, Crimes vs. persons - Property (non-violent) 2%

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 force, and staff/offender relationships. (31%)
  • Crimes vs. persons (violent), which include battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon. (18%)
  • Possession/recovery of contraband. (15%)
  • Inmate injuries or deaths, including suicide, suicide attempts, homicides, natural deaths, accidental deaths and injuries. (9%)
Classification of Incident Number
Complaints Against Staff 10,103
Inmate Injuries or Death 2,966
Crimes vs. Persons (Violent) 5,827
Crimes vs. Persons - Property (Non-Violent) 596
Escape / Attempted Escape 406
Recovery/Possession of Contraband 4,778
Employee Arrests 325
Other 7,529
TOTAL 32,530

Of these 32,530 incidents, 4,410 official investigations were assigned as indicated by the chart below.

Field Office Senior Inspectors Institutional Inspectors Total
Tallahassee 215 543 758
Gainesville 608 837 1,445
Orlando 198 293 491
Ft. Lauderdale 301 618 919
Tampa 525 272 797
TOTAL 1,847 2,563 4,410

Of the 4,410 investigations assigned, 396 were forwarded to State Attorney's Offices throughout Florida for possible criminal prosecution.

Use of Force

Established in 1999, the unit is charged with reviewing all incidents of physical force at state correctional facilities to ensure compliance with established rules, procedures and statutes.

To accomplish this mission, the unit independently reviews and evaluates all force incident reports, associated documents and videotapes as required from each correctional facility or office. Evidence indicating possible procedural violations, inmate abuse, excessive/ improper/ unauthorized force, or battery by staff is referred to the Bureau of State Investigations and an internal investigation is conducted.

The use-of-force database has been enhanced to automatically notify management of employee involvement in multiple use-of-force incidents. Recent database advances also facilitate more detailed trend analysis and classification of incidents by type. Uses-of-force are classified as major incidents whenever the chemical agent CS or Electronic Restraint Devices are 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, 2008 through June 30, 2009.

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A Self Defense 678
27B Escape/Recapture 5
27C Prevent Escape During Transport 0
27D Prevent Property Damage 24
27E Quell a Disturbance 1,741
27F Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command 1,574
27G Prevent Suicide 477
27H Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment 62
27I Cell Extraction 178
27J Mental Health Restraint 315
27K Probation & Parole Handcuffing 2
27O Other 30
TOTAL 5,086

Corrections Intelligence Unit

The Corrections Intelligence Unit collects, analyzes, and disseminates data and investigative information to assist and support the Inspector General’s Office and Department of Corrections. It also researches and compiles data in response to law enforcement and Homeland Security issues, and works closely with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The Unit also represents the Department of Corrections on the Florida FUSION Center, a statewide collaborative intelligence project directed towards Homeland Security issues.

Contraband Interdiction Unit

The Contraband Interdiction Unit, established in 1993, provides a safer environment for employees, inmates and visitors at state correctional facilities by detecting and discouraging the introduction of contraband -- in particular illegal narcotics.  The Unit conducts unannounced contraband interdictions and searches using inspectors and certified Narcotic Canine Teams.  During the often weekend-long interdictions, employees, visitors, volunteers, inmates, vehicles and facility grounds are searched for contraband.  Individuals also are subject to inspection using a chemical detection device which employs advanced “Ion Mobility Spectrometry” technology to detect traces of illegal drugs.  Random interdiction operations and canine sweeps are conducted at all agency facilities.

Narcotic Canine Teams

The Drug Detection Canine Unit consists of nine full-time canine teams with specially equipped vehicles, located strategically around the state.  Working in conjunction with the Inspector General's Contraband Interdiction Unit, the teams participate in contraband interdictions and targeted searches at Department of Correction prisons and other facilities.  The canine teams also work closely with institutional inspectors and provide investigative support.

The chart below summarizes the arrests and seizures generated by interdiction and canine operations statewide during Fiscal Year 2008-09:

Interdiction/Canine Arrests/Seizures FY 08-09
by Level 1 and 2 interdiction teams 23
by canine teams 5
Contraband Seized:
Alcohol (gallons)
commercial and homemade 28.5
Drugs (grams)






Weapons/Cell Phones (each)

firearms (in vehicles on state property)


ammunition (rounds, in vehicles)


knives/sharps (entering or inside institution)


cell phones (entering or inside institution)

employees, visitors and inmates scanned 6,430
ionscan positive alerts triggered 543

Inmate Drug Testing Program

The Inspector General’s Inmate Drug Testing Unit manages inmate selection, testing procedures, and results analysis for inmate drug tests statewide.  This responsibility also encompasses ordering testing supplies, training officers to perform the tests, and program audits.

The following chart describes test results for Fiscal Year 2008-09:

Inmate Drug Test Conducted during FY 2008-09
Reason for Test Total Selected Not Tested Valid Tests Negative Tests Positive Tests Percent Positive


72,092 695 70,741 69,609 1,132 1.60%

For Cause

6,622 7 6,333 5,246 1,087 17.16%

Drug Treatment Program (SAP)

36,260 279 35,931 35,861 70 0.19%


114,974 981 113,005 110,716 2,289 2.03%

Prison Tips

The Bureau oversees the "Prison Tips" program, which collects criminal intelligence on unsolved or ongoing criminal activity, both inside and outside the department, from inmates, probationers, and other persons who may have knowledge of this type of activity. "Prison Tips" offers an anonymous method to provide this information.

The “Tips” line can be accessed from inmate phones within all department facilities, or by a toll-free number (1-866-599-1778) from phones outside the facilities. Calls are monitored by the Office of the Inspector General. Information provided by callers is reviewed and forwarded to appropriate Department staff or the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the reported activity.

Callers have the option of establishing a voice mailbox, accessed by a unique pass code, to receive feedback from the Inspector General's Office on the status of the information they provide. This also provides a secure mechanism for communicating with the individual if they become eligible for a cash reward offered by law enforcement.

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