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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, and serves as the final reviewing authority for all useof- 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.

More than 38,000 incidents were reported to the Inspector General's Office during Fiscal Year 2010-11.

2010-2011 Incidents Classified by Type: Escapge / Attempted Escape 1%, Recovery/Possession of Contraband 15%, Employee Arrests 1%, Other 21%, Complaints Against Staff 30%, Inmate Injuries or Death 9%, Crimes vs. Persons (violent) 16%, Crimes vs. persons - Property (non-violent) 8%

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 force, and staff/offender relationships (30%)
  • Crimes vs. persons (violent), including battery on a law enforcement officer, battery on another inmate, sexual battery, and possession of a weapon (16%)
  • Possession or recovery of contraband (15%)
  • Inmate injuries or deaths, including suicide, suicide attempts, homicides, natural deaths, accidental deaths and injuries (9%)
Classification of Incident Number
Other (Including Tax Fraud, Discrimination)  7,961
Crimes vs. Persons (Violent)  6,238
Recovery/Possession of Contraband  5,928
Inmate Injuries or Death  3,338
Crimes vs. Persons -Property (Non-Violent)  3,027
Employee Arrests  340
Escape / Attempted Escape  260

Of the above reported incidents, 5,196 were assigned to inspectors for official investigation as indicated in the chart below. One of every six cases assigned – approximately 863 – was classified as criminal. The remaining cases were assigned for administrative investigation.

Field Office Senior Inspectors Institutional Inspectors Total
Region I  408 903 1,311
Region II  402 1,626 2,028
Region III  260 550 810
Region IV  485 562 1,047
TOTAL  1,555 3,641 5,196

Bureau of State Investigations

Use of Force Unit

Established in 1999, the Use-of-Force Unit is charged with reviewing all incidents of physical force at state correctional facilities, along with those involving probation and parole officers, 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 was enhanced to notify management of employee involvement in multiple use-of-force incidents. Uses of force are classified as major incidents whenever weapons, the chemical agent "CS", or Electronic Restraint Devices are used; when force is used in a cell extraction; or when outside medical treatment is required for employees or inmates as a result of use of force. Other physical contact with inmates, including use of the chemical agent "OC", is classified as minor. The following chart reflects force incidents reported to the Unit in FY 2010-11.

Classification Reason Force Was Used Number
27A  Self Defense  695
27B  Escape/Recapture  2
27C  Prevent Escape During Transport  2
27D  Prevent Property Damage  32
27E  Quell a Disturbance  1,959
27F  Physical Resistance to a Lawful Command  2,163
27G  Prevent Suicide  971
27H  Restrain Inmate for Medical Treatment  46
27I  Cell Extraction  225
27J  Mental Health Restraint  370
27K  Probation & Parole Handcuffing  1
27O  Other  46
TOTAL   6,512

The number of force incidents reported by the Department's correctional staff has increased significantly since 2006, rising more than 80 percent in five years.

2006 - 3488; 2007 - 3998; 2008 - 4977; 2009 - 5619; 2010 - 6412

As illustrated by the charts on this page, force incidents rose more rapidly than the inmate population, which was up approximately 13 percent in the same period.

2006 - 90,423; 2007 - 95,252; 2008 - 99,937; 2009 - 101,437; 2010 - 102,138

Special Operations Section

The Special Operations Section coordinates the agency's inmate drug testing program, Contraband Interdiction/Narcotic Canine Unit, Corrections Intelligence Unit, "Prison Tips" hotline, Fugitive Unit, and Security Threat Group (gang) Unit.

Image of an officer looking through binoculars from a tower.

Corrections Intelligence Unit

The Corrections Intelligence Unit collects, analyzes, and disseminates data and investigative information in support of the Bureau of State Investigations and institutional security staff. It also researches data related to Homeland Security issues and works closely with other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. It has generated multiple intelligence reports that were shared at the national level, including "Classified" level reporting. Two Unit members are FDLE-certified crime analysts.

The Unit represents the Department of Corrections at the Florida Fusion Center, a statewide collaborative intelligence project focused on timely development and sharing of information. It also serves as primary point of contact for the Corrections Intelligence Initiative, a joint FBI project designed to deter radicalization of prison inmates and to detect domestic security threats among the prison population.

Fugitive Unit

Established in 2007, the Fugitive Unit helps protect citizens by locating and coordinating the arrest of fugitives from the Department of Corrections. The Unit:

  • Tracks "cold-case" fugitives in an effort to return felons to Department of Corrections' custody. Coordinates with other law enforcement agencies that can assist in recapture efforts.
  • Assists other law enforcement agencies (national and international) in their investigations involving escaped or released inmates.
  • Monitors escape statistics to identify trends by institution, and to identify and eliminate possible security weaknesses.
Image of an institution at night.

The Fugitive Unit locates fugitives from justice by using multiple sources and methods to develop a link to the individual being sought. The Unit then works with law enforcement agencies in the targeted area to capture the fugitive in the safest possible manner. During FY 2010-11, the Unit assisted in the return of 173 fugitives to the custody of the State of Florida. Since 2007, the Unit has facilitated 767 recaptures.

Contraband Interdiction/Narcotic Canine Unit

Contraband Interdiction provides a safer environment for employees, inmates and visitors at state correctional facilities by detecting and discouraging the introduction of contraband such as weapons, cell phones and narcotics. Interdiction staff conducts unannounced contraband searches with assistance from certified Narcotic Canine Teams. During the 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 Department facilities.

The Inspector General's office operates 20 full-time canine teams located strategically around the state. The teams participate in interdiction and search operations at prisons and other facilities statewide. The canine teams also work closely with institutional inspectors and provide investigative support.

The following chart summarizes arrests and seizures generated by the Inspector General's canine teams and interdiction operations during Fiscal Year 2010-11.

Interdiction/Canine Arrests/Seizures FY 10-11
Arrests:
Employees 3
Visitors 59
Inmates 33
Contraband Seized:
Alcohol (gallons)
commercial 34
homemade 167
Drugs (grams)

marijuana

5,138

cocaine

303

other

283

other

364
Weapons/Cell Phones/Money

firearms (in vehicles on state property)

31

ammunition (rounds, in vehicles)

3,525

knives/sharps (entering or inside institution)

216

cell phones (entering or inside institution)

487

cash (excessive or contraband)

$17,206
Ionscans:
employees 815
visitors 1,507
inmates 459

Inmate Drug Testing Program

Special Operations staff manages selection, testing procedures and results analysis for inmate drug testing statewide. This responsibility also encompasses projecting and ordering testing supplies, certifying staff to perform the tests, contract monitoring and ensuring program compliance.

The chart below summarizes drug test results for Fiscal Year 2010-11.

Inmate Drug Test Conducted during FY 2010-11
Reason for Test Total Selected Not Tested Valid Tests Negative Tests Positive Tests Percent Positive

Random

75,118 1,966 72,554 71,225 1,329 1.83%

For Cause

5,116 10 4,860 3,918 942 19.38%

In Drug Treatment

51,888 607 51,234 51,173 61 0.12%

TOTAL

132,122 2,583 128,648 126,316 2,332 1.81%

Prison Tips

Special Operations staff oversees the prison "TIPS" line, which received more than 5,800 calls during FY 2010-11. Phone calls made to the "TIPS" line are reviewed daily and the information provided is used to collect criminal intelligence on unsolved or ongoing criminal activity, both inside and outside the Department. Inmates, probationers or any other callers that may have knowledge of this type of activity can use "TIPS" as 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
(1-866-246-4412) from phones outside the facilities. Information provided by callers is reviewed and forwarded to the appropriate Department staff or to the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction over the reported activity.

Each caller has the option of establishing a voice mailbox, accessed by a unique pass code, which is provided upon the caller's request. This provides a mechanism to exchange messages and information between the caller and the Inspector General's Office on the status of the information provided and related actions.

Security Threat Group

The Inspector General's Security Threat Group (STG) Unit collects, analyzes and distributes intelligence related to criminal gang activity both within and outside the state correctional system. The STG Unit assists institutional staff by reviewing gang-related incidents as they occur in prison settings, and making recommendations for relocating or restricting inmates based on their role in the incident.

As of June 30, 2011, 8,061 of the Department's 102,319 inmates (8 percent) were confirmed gang members. This represents an increase of 0.67% from June 30, 2010. Another 1,899 of the Department's probationers have been identified as gang members. One or more gang members are sentenced to DC custody from each of Florida's 67 counties. As shown in the chart below, the most prevalent gang in Department custody is the Latin Kings, followed by Gangster Disciples.

Gang Members in DC Custody
Gang Members in DC Custody

Image of a Latin King gang tattoo.

During the last fiscal year, the STG unit sent out more than 3,000 notices to Florida law enforcement agencies, informing them of pending releases of gang members from Department custody back into their communities.

The Unit notifies other law enforcement agencies monthly of gang members who are serving terms of probation in their jurisdictions.

During the past year, the STG unit presented information on Florida gang activity to the Florida Gang Investigators Association Conference, Florida A&M University, U.S. Attorney's "New Faces of Gangs" Workshop and at training workshops for DC staff.

The Unit also developed a re-entry program to assist gang members with their reintegration into society, and transition to non-gang support groups.

An image of officers with their canine partners.