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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Security and Institutional Management

Testing Inmates for Drugs

Random Drug Testing

In 1993, the Drug Free Corrections Act, under Florida Statute 944.473, mandated that the department establish procedures to randomly select and test inmates for substance abuse. In January 1994, the random selection and testing of inmates started. The plan developed by the task force called for random selection and testing 10% of the Florida prison population every month. The following table presents the results of the random drug testing for the last two fiscal years, as well as the period January to June 1994 when the program was first implemented. The results indicate that the percentage of positive tests has declined every year, to 2.1% in FY 1996-97. The most common drug detected is cannabis (90% of all positive results in FY 1996-97).

Testing Due to Reasonable Suspicion

The department also tests inmates based on reasonable suspicion that they have ingested drugs. Any inmate who is suspected to be using drugs is subject to a drug test.

RANDOM DRUG TEST RESULTS THROUGH FY 1996-97
  Valid Tests Negative Tests Positive Tests Positive Rate Positive Test Results
Alcohol Cannabis Cocaine Opiates Other Total*
FY 1993-94** 11,108 10,443 665 5.99% 28 633 45 1 707
FY 1994-95 50,973 48,901 2,072 4.06% 134 1,943 158 2,235
FY 1995-96 72,238 70,038 2,200 3.05% 95 2,031 173 66 6 2,371
FY 1996-97 77,417 75,814 1,603 2.07% 72 1,450 203 131 53 1,909
Total 211,736 205,196 6,540 3.09% 329 6,057 579 198 59 7,222

* Includes multiple positives (inmate tests positive for more than one drug when tested)
**Random drug tests were conducted during only three months in FY 1993-94.