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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Prisons

Thousands of inmates are randomly drug tested annually

The Department's Inmate Drug Testing Unit currently oversees the inmate random drug testing program, substance abuse program drug testing and “for cause” drug testing for all correctional facilities statewide.

Inmates are chosen for random and substance abuse program drug testing based on a random, computer-generated selection system. Selection of inmates for “for cause” drug testing is based on reasonable suspicion of involvement with drugs or alcohol.

Drug testing enables the Department to detect and identify inmates using illicit drugs, including abuse of prescription drugs and/or alcohol.

Furthermore, the role of drug testing has been recognized as highly effective in identifying those who have substance abuse problems, getting them into treatment, and monitoring them during the treatment process.

Random Drug Test Results in Accordance with (F.S. 944.473(1)) for FY 2012-13
Type of
Test
Valid
Tests
Negative
Tests
Positive
Tests
Positive
Rate
Drug Test Positive
Alcohol Cannabis Cocaine Opiates Other Total*
Random 65,706 65,478 228 0.3% 2 191 6 8 22 229
For Cause 1,236 1,062 174 14.1% 23 127 6 6 15 177
*Inmates can test positive for more than one drug on a test.

Combating Contraband in Prison

The Office of the Inspector General conducts unannounced drug interdiction operations by searching employees, visitors, inmates, vehicles and areas on Department grounds for contraband. Some examples from FY 2012-13:

During a K-9 inspection on March 20, 2013, Correctional Officer (C.O.) Inspector Desmond Dilorenzo noticed that a padlock on the pipe chase cover appeared to have been modified. Further inspection revealed that the lock had actually been cut and put back on the pipe chase to make it appear that it was intact. Inside of the chase, multiple contraband items were found including three cell phones and two homemade weapons.

On March 20, 2013 K-9 Inspector Anthony Rowan and his dog Uno, whose specialty is sniffing out cell phones, recovered five contraband cell phones during a search of common areas in a work camp, considered a high number for a work camp. After Inspector Rowan left the facility, security staff noticed some inmates in the recreation area appeared to be searching for something. Security staff removed inmates from the area and conducted a physical search, where they found another cell phone which may have been tossed by the inmates when they saw Inspector Rowan and Uno arrive at the facility.

On March 21, 2013 C.O. Inspector Eliazar Mares was conducting a K-9 Inspection in a housing unit when canine Tina alerted to a mattress in a lower bunk area. Multiple items of contraband, including nine grams of crack cocaine were recovered. This operation was conducted in response to information provided by Senior Inspector Conan Davidson. Noted Sr. Inspector Darrel Grabner: “It really helps when we get cooperation from state investigations with timely and good information which helps us target specific areas.”

Contraband can take the form of cell phones, lighters, tobacco and even cash in a prison setting, along with more typical forms of contraband – homemade weapons  and drugs. Cell phones are contraband because they can be used to intimidate witnesses, plan escapes, harass victims and conduct criminal enterprises from prison.

Contraband can take the form of cell phones, lighters, tobacco and even cash in a prison setting, along with more typical forms of contraband – homemade weapons  and drugs. Cell phones are contraband because they can be used to intimidate witnesses, plan escapes, harass victims and conduct criminal enterprises from prison.