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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary


October 1, 1999 For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420
FAX: (850) 922-2848

Policy Review on
Media Access to Inmates


Summary of Policy Review

In preparation for the amendment process of rules related to media access to inmates, the Florida Department of Corrections conducted a survey of ten states (including Florida), the United States (Federal Bureau of Prisons) and the United Kingdom (H.M. Prison Service). Of the twelve surveyed systems, two (South Carolina and Wyoming) expressly prohibit any media interviews, one (California) authorizes only interviews on a random basis, and one (Arizona) allows only phone interviews. The following information reflects the findings of the Department of Corrections.

Note: PIO as used herein refers to public information officer.


Survey of Inmate Interview Policies

A. Arizona

Pursuant to Arizona Department of Corrections policy #201 dated 9/1/96 received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. Media Access to Prisons/Facilities and Staff - 201.06

    1. "...routine requests for access to prisons/facilities and staff shall be approved by the PIO at least 24 hours in advance or access shall be denied...except for scheduled events, access to correctional facilities is limited to normal business hours...the Warden (or designee) shall designate a time that is least disruptive...access may be granted for the purpose of covering a scheduled event that is open to the public."

  2. Media Access to Inmates - 201.07

    1. "News media representatives may correspond with inmates through the U.S. Mail."
    2. "News media representatives shall contact the PIO or the appropriate PIO liaison...to arrange telephone interviews with inmates...inmates shall be required to sign an Inmate Media Authorization Form prior to contact with any media representative."
    3. "News media representatives shall not be allowed access to prisons/facilities for the purpose of interviewing inmates."

  3. Special Media Access Restrictions/Guidelines - 201.08

    1. "Requests to interview an inmate on death watch shall be denied."
    2. "News media representatives may be denied access to prisons if the Director (or designee) determines that their presence may jeopardize safety or security."
    3. "Exceptions shall be allowed only when approved in writing by the Director."

B. California

Pursuant to California Department of Corrections policy (Title 15) dated 6/1/92, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/13/99.

  1. Media Access to Facilities, Title 15 Section 3261.1

    1. "Media representatives access to a department facility or contract facility shall require prior approval of the institution head...free-lance writers, book authors, film makers...may be authorized...only with the approval of the institution head and assistant director, communications."
      1. "Facilities, on-duty staff, inmates or records...shall not be used in conjunction with film making, radio or TV programs, book writing, magazine articles or syndicated stories without approval of the director."
    2. "Within a facility, media shall be under the direct supervision of the PIO or designee."
    3. "Media shall not enter security housing units, condemned units, the gas chamber, or any area currently affected by an emergency situation without approval of the director."

  2. Routine Media Interviews, Title 15 Section 3261.5

    1. "Media representatives may be permitted random face-to-face interviews with inmates or parolees housed in facilities...and random or specific-person face-to-face interviews with staff. Such interviews shall be conducted as stipulated by the institution head, including restricting the time, place and duration of interviews, and the size of technical crews."
      1. "Random interviews of individuals involved in a specific activity or program, encountered while covering a facility activity or event shall be limited to the time, areas and segments of the facility population designated by the institution head."
      2. "Inmates may not participate in specific-person face-to-face interviews. Use of cameras or recording equipment shall require prior approval of the institution head or designee."
    2. "Media may be required to pay the security or escort costs provided for the interview."
    3. "No inmate, parolee or staff may be interviewed against their will."
    4. "...[a form] shall be completed whenever an inmate is the subject of a still, motion picture, or other recording intended for use by [media]."
    5. "One employee shall witness the inmate's signature on the completed form."
    6. "Inmates under 18 years of age shall not be photographed, filmed or video taped."

  3. Legislative/Legal Challenges to Policy

    1. Pell v. Procunier
      The California media access policy was challenged on constitutional grounds in Pell v. Procunier, 417 U.S. 817 (1974). The U.S. Supreme Court found that neither the inmate's freedom of speech, nor the freedom of the press was infringed because alternative methods of communication were available and the press was afforded the same access as members of the general public.
    2. On October 12, 1997, Governor Pete Wilson vetoed Senate Bill No. 434. The bill would have "require[d] the Department of Corrections to permit representatives of the news media to interview prison inmates in person, including prearranged interviews with specified prisoners." In his veto message, Governor Wilson specifically stated:

        "...the department has established regulations that permit media representatives random face-to-face interviews... media are not prohibited from visiting specific inmates like everyone else... inmates are not restricted from communicating with media representatives, but their correspondence is not considered confidential as with attorneys, the courts and federal, state and local officials. The purpose of imprisonment is punishment and deterrence of crime. Those that are housed in state prison should not be treated as celebrities. Such attention is a disincentive to inmates to focus upon the remorse that is essential while in prison to prepare for any eventual release into society. This notoriety also enables the thug to gain status within the prison community that often encourages negative behavior by other inmates, thereby threatening the safety and order of the institution... prison officials [should] prevent media exposure that allows the criminal to enjoy his notoriety at the expense of others."

    3. On September 7, 1999, Governor Gray Davis vetoed Assembly Bill No. 1440. The bill would have "allow[ed] journalists virtually unlimited access to convicted felons incarcerated in California state prisons." In his veto message to the Assembly on their second attempt to overturn current Department of Corrections policy, Governor Davis specifically stated:

        "Under present law, journalists have ample opportunities to interview convicts: 1) during regular visiting hours on the same basis as family and friends; 2) by accepting collect phone calls from the prisoner; 3) by written correspondence; and 4) by unlimited access to the prisoner's lawyer. This bill would give journalists preferential treatment by giving them greater access than even members of the prisoner's own family...its implementation would disrupt the orderly administration of prisons. The purpose of incarceration is punishment and deterrence, it is not to provide additional celebrity status to inmates, many of whose criminal acts were brutal and violent, thereby causing further pain to the victims and their loved ones."

C. Florida

  1. Inmate Interviews, Policy and Procedure Directives

    1. PPD 1.05.01, Information Services, issued 11/20/79

      Pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 20.315(4), the purpose of this PPD is "to provide for the timely dissemination of factual information relative to departmental activities and affairs to the general public and to the news media." The directive does not specifically address the topic of inmate interviews with the media, however, states the following in reference to media access: "It is the policy of the Department to only allow media access to areas within and surrounding facilities after approval by the Superintendent and Information Services."

    2. PPD 3.04.12, Visiting, issued 04/08/81

      Pursuant to Florida Statutes 944.23, 944.27, 945.21, and 944.29, as well as Department of Corrections Rules and Regulations 33-4.02(8), 33-3.06, and 33-5, the purpose of this PPD is to "define the various categories of visitors and to outline visiting procedures." The directive states that:

      1. "Permission for visits by bona fide news media representatives shall not be unreasonably withheld."
      2. "Members of the news media may be authorized by the Superintendent, or his designee, to visit Florida correctional facilities for the purpose of observing institutional programs...the Superintendent, or his designee, also may restrict the use of photographic or recording equipment, and may restrict areas of the facility which may be toured."
      3. "Requests for interviews with specific inmates shall include the name of the inmate...Interviews may be granted, subject to prior approval by the inmate...may be refused if:
        1. The inmate is in disciplinary confinement.
        2. The inmate is classified as close management.
        3. The inmate has serious psychological problems.
        4. The Superintendent, or his designee, has reason to believe that such interview will impair the security or normal operation of the facility.
        5. The inmate is a hospital patient.

    3. PPD 3.01.05, Visitor Access, rescinded 05/17/96

      On 17 May 1996, pursuant to a memorandum from Bill Thurber, PPD 3.01.05 regarding visitor access was rescinded. The memorandum states that "all visitation issues should be in accordance with Chapter 33-5, Florida Administrative Code (see below)."

  2. Death Row Inmate Interviews, Policy and Procedure Directives

    1. PPD 3.01.06, Media Access - Death Warrants, issued 4/9/96
      Section C - News Media Access to Inmates Under Sentence of Death
      1. "Regularly scheduled news media interviews with inmates under sentence of death will be permitted each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. and will be contingent upon the consent of the inmate."
      2. "The Secretary may temporarily suspend news media interviews if an extraordinary situation has developed which creates a substantial risk to persons, property or security."
      3. "During the calendar week of a scheduled execution, all regularly scheduled interviews are canceled."
      4. Access During Calendar Week of Execution (Sunday - Saturday)
        1. "The inmate sentenced to death will be allowed to have one group interview with a total of 30 media representatives and one individual interview with a news media representative selected by the offender, provided the inmate requests the interview in writing...will be conducted within 48 hours prior to execution...at a place and time designated by the Superintendent of FSP...shall not exceed one hour each."
        2. "Within a reasonable period of time prior to the group interview, the Secretary or Secretary's designee will notify...the Florida Editor of the United Press International Wire Service, the Florida Bureau Chief of the AP Wire Service, the FAB and the Florida Press Association of the date, time and place...a total of 30 media representatives will be permitted...two representatives from the United Press International, two from the AP, 13 from the FAB and 13 from the Florida Press Association ...representatives may include photographers, camera operators, and sound operators...they may bring a reasonable amount of equipment."
        3. "A print media representative selected for the individual interview may use a tape recorder and may designate a still photographer...a radio representative may use a tape recorder and may designate a technical assistant...a television representative may designate a camera operator and sound operator to assist during the interview."

  3. Florida Administrative Code 33-5.014

    1. "Permission for visits by bona fide news media representatives shall not be unreasonably withheld."
    2. "Members of the news media may be authorized by the Superintendent, or his designee, to visit Florida correctional facilities for the purpose of observing institutional programs...the Superintendent, or his designee, also may restrict the use of photographic or recording equipment, and may restrict areas of the facility which may be toured."
    3. "Requests for interviews with specific inmates shall include the name of the inmate...Interviews may be granted, subject to prior approval by the inmate...may be refused if:
      1. The inmate is in disciplinary confinement.
      2. The inmate is classified as close management.
      3. The inmate has serious psychological problems.
      4. The Superintendent, or his designee, has reason to believe that such interview will impair the security or normal operation of the facility.
      5. The inmate is a hospital patient.

  4. Florida Administrative Code 33-15-.003

    1. "Regularly scheduled news media interviews with inmates under sentence of death will be permitted each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, between the hours of 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. and will be contingent upon the consent of the inmate."
    2. "The Secretary may temporarily suspend news media interviews if an extraordinary situation has developed which creates a substantial risk to persons, property or security."
    3. "During the calendar week of a scheduled execution, all regularly scheduled interviews are canceled."
    4. Access During Calendar Week of Execution (Sunday - Saturday)
      1. "The inmate sentenced to death will be allowed to have one group interview with a total of 30 media representatives and one individual interview with a news media representative selected by the offender, provided the inmate requests the interview in writing...will be conducted within 48 hours prior to execution...at a place and time designated by the Superintendent of FSP...shall not exceed one hour each."
      2. "Within a reasonable period of time prior to the group interview, the Secretary or Secretary's designee will notify...the Florida Editor of the United Press International Wire Service, the Florida Bureau Chief of the AP Wire Service, the FAB and the Florida Press Association of the date, time and place...a total of 30 media representatives will be permitted...two representatives from the United Press International, two from the AP, 13 from the FAB and 13 from the Florida Press Association ...representatives may include photographers, camera operators, and sound operators...they may bring a reasonable amount of equipment."
      3. "A print media representative selected for the individual interview may use a tape recorder and may designate a still photographer...a radio representative may use a tape recorder and may designate a technical assistant...a television representative may designate a camera operator and sound operator to assist during the interview."

  5. Florida Statutes

    1. 944.23 Persons authorized to visit state prisons. -- "Permission shall not be unreasonably withheld from those who give sufficient evidence to the department that they are bona fide reporters or writers. "

D. Georgia

Pursuant to Georgia Department of Corrections policy # IJ01-001 dated 4/11/97, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. Interviews, Visits

    1. "News media do not have the automatic right to visit any facility."
    2. "News media representatives will have the same access to facilities as members of the public."
    3. "Additional access will be granted at the discretion of the Warden."
    4. "Requests for interviews shall be communicated to the PIO immediately by phone and confirmed by fax or mail."
    5. "Media representatives...will be accompanied by a member of the public information staff...will visit only those locations of the facility previously approved by the PIO and warden."
    6. "All cameras, video and audio recording equipment will be subject to normal search procedures and will only be allowed in facilities by permission of the director of public information and the warden."
    7. "Disregard of GDC policy...will result in the immediate termination of the visit and may result in refusal of future access to the facility."
    8. "Media access to any facility...may be suspended during a critical incident or emergency and for a reasonable time after the incident."

  2. Interviewing and Photographing Prisoners

    1. "News media representatives may be permitted to interview a specific prisoner if (s)he agrees to the interview and under the following conditions:
      1. A prisoner may not receive compensation for interviews with the news media.
      2. ...interviews must be arranged at least 24 hours in advance...via fax or mail.
      3. Interviews with juvenile prisoners, prisoners Under Death Sentence, and prisoners or detainees in isolation, segregation or diagnostic status will not be allowed without prior approval from the commissioner of the Department of Corrections.
      4. Wardens and the PIO will determine the location and length of prisoner and detainee interviews, and any interview may be terminated if it is imposing a serious drain on the staff and use of facilities.
      5. Prisoners will not be allowed to hold news conferences.
      6. Prisoners may be photographed and/or interviewed without their signed consent if they are in a public location. Correctional staff, however, may ask the photographer or reporter to desist and leave the premises if the staff feels the situation may cause a security problem."

E. Illinois

Pursuant to Florida Department of Corrections staff conversation with Illinois Department of Corrections' Public Information Office on 9/20/99.

    Illinois does not have a written policy regarding media visits or face-to-face Inmate Interviews with the news media. Members of the news media do not have any special rights to access under Illinois law. Reporters have the same right to visit inmates as any other member of the public and may not use any news gathering equipment during a regular visit.

    Under special circumstances, the director may grant media access to facilities or individual inmates, as long as security is not threatened and the story has a balanced perspective. In the event that a reporter is allowed to interview an inmate, the interview must be conducted in the attorney-client interview rooms, and the reporter may not film or photograph the inmate in the general population.

    Two years ago, the department attempted to issue a written ban on media interviews with death row inmates. After careful consideration the department decided not to put such a policy in writing, however, requests to interview death row inmates have been consistently denied by the director.

F. New York

Pursuant to New York Department of Correctional Services policy #0401 dated 9/5/90, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. Press Interviews of Inmates - Section IV

    1. "Inmates...may be visited and interviewed by members of the news media."
    2. "Such interviews shall be held at a time, place, and under such conditions as prescribed by the superintendent...interviews of inmates by telephone are prohibited."
    3. "...interviews shall be arranged through the Office of Public Information or through the respective superintendents..."
    4. "A news organization or reporter...must first write to the inmate and receive the inmate's approval...the superintendent or director of public information may make arrangements for the interview to take place."
    5. "...all interviews between representatives of the news media and inmates shall be supervised by way of direct observation by an assigned employee."
    6. "Inmates who are confined...for disciplinary reasons may not be interviewed by the news media."
    7. "An inmate who has been interviewed...shall not be subjected to reprisals, retribution or retaliation..."
    8. "An inmate facing pending or anticipated legal action shall be advised to notify his/her attorney before conducting a press interview."

  2. Recording of Interviews - Section VI

    1. "With the consent of the inmate, interviews may be recorded..."

  3. Inmates Under Death Sentence - Section VIII
    1. "Inmates under death sentence and their occupied cell areas are excluded from interviews and tours...without an order from the courts."

G. Ohio

Pursuant to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections policy #003-03 dated 2/23/98, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. General Population Inmate Interviews - Section D

    1. "A reporter wishing to interview an inmate must first write to the warden...if eligible, the inmate will be contacted and asked to sign a release."
    2. "Inmates may be eligible...if they:
      1. Are in the general population.
      2. Sign a waiver permitting release of his or her image or words.
      3. Receive no compensation or anything of value in exchange for or as a result of the interview.
      4. Are speaking about their offense or a topic not related to prison policy or procedure."
    3. "The director will have discretion to grant or deny any interview request."
    4. "The Central Office PIO will be notified of any media request for an inmate interview."
    5. "The managing officer...shall make available this policy and convey oral instructions...media representatives will be asked to sign a statement indicating they are familiar with the rules and regulations..."
    6. "Rules for media in prisons:
      1. A media representative must have advanced approval to visit an institution.
      2. Interviews must be no longer than one hour and conducted during the normal business hours...
      3. Interviews must take place in an area outside of the inmate living area, however, on the prison grounds.
      4. Interviews will involve no more than one inmate at any given time...
      5. Interviews must take place in view of a DRC employee...
      6. Interviews may be recorded by video, audio, notes or other methods with prior approval of the managing officer and the person to be interview.
      7. Live broadcasts by television or radio are prohibited within correctional institutions.
      8. Any photography or videography at a DRC facility must be restricted to shots which do not identify individual inmates.
      9. Only one media organization may be allowed to interview an inmate at any given time. News conferences are not permitted for inmates.
      10. Should the number of requests for interviews with an inmate exceed three in one day, the inmate will be asked to choose whom he or she wants to talk to.
      11. A representative of the news media is requested to give DRC an opportunity to respond to any allegation which might be published or broadcast prior to distribution.
      12. A representative of the news media is requested not to use allegations from one inmate about another inmate who refuses to be interviewed.
      13. Failure by a news media representative to comply with the rules of this policy constitutes grounds for denying the representative or his/her agency permission to conduct the interview or any other interviews for a 12 month period."
    7. "An inmate shall be advised to notify his/her attorney before conducting a media interview in case there is a pending or anticipated legal action."
    8. "The managing officer may deny any inmate interview request based on security, medical or other administrative reason including:
      1. ...news media representative...does not agree to the conditions established by DRC...;
      2. ...news media representative...has, in the past 12 months, failed to abide by any required conditions;
      3. ...inmate is physically or mentally unable to participate;
      4. The interview...would endanger the health or safety of the interviewer, media crew, DRC staff, inmate or could cause serious unrest or disrupt the operation of the institution;
      5. The inmate is involved in a pending court action."
    9. "'Infotainment' publications and broadcasts will be restricted from DRC facilities unless the director or his designee makes an exception. Entertainment or 'infotainment' media organizations do not represent bona fide news programs...Magazine, tabloid or talk show and other 'infotainment' formats may be distinguished from news formats by their focus on sensational topics and/or entertainment."
    10. "The managing officer may suspend all media visits during an institution critical incident."
    11. "All national media requests from out-of-state, national and international media must be directed to the PIO in Central Office."
    12. "No telephone interviews are permitted with the inmate."

H. South Carolina

Pursuant to South Carolina Department of Corrections policy #GA-02.01 (OP) dated 12/15/98, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. Responses to Requests for Tours of SCDC Institutions/Buildings

    1. "Advance approval must be received from the director of the Office of Executive Affairs (or designee) prior to authorizing any news media representative to visit or tour any SCDC operated institution/building. News media representatives will be restricted to only those locations or areas of any institution or building pre-approved by the director of the Office of Executive Affairs or designee."
    2. "News media representatives will be required to be escorted by at least one SCDC employee assigned to the institution/building/area to be visited and at least one designee of the Office of Executive Affairs at all times."
    3. "The failure of any news media representative to abide by any rules...may result in immediate termination of the visit/tour and/or suspension of any future visitation/tour privileges."

  2. Requests for Interviews with Inmates

    1. "Interviews with any inmate, untried county safekeeper, or death row inmate by anyone will be prohibited. (NOTE: This prohibition does not apply to internal or external law enforcement, agency officials, internal and external auditors, or legal professionals who may need to interview inmates for purposes of an investigation or pending legal action.)"

I. Texas

Pursuant to Texas Department of Criminal Justice policy #ED-02.40 dated 06/23/98, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.

  1. News Media Access to Units/Facilities - Section V

    1. "The PIO shall assist wardens in determining the credentials of purported news media representatives seeking access to units/facilities."
    2. "...Wardens may...impose limitations on or set conditions for news media access...when...such access would disrupt the safety and security...or cause serious operational problems."
    3. "News media representatives may be barred...during periods of unusual tension...during actual emergencies and disturbances...following such emergencies...until good order and normal operations have been restored."

  2. Interviews with Specific Offenders - Section V, subsection D

    1. "A news media reporter may interview a specifically named offender as arranged by prior appointment and with the written consent of the offender."
    2. "An interview...may be prohibited...when the interview:
      1. would impair the rehabilitation of the offender;
      2. detract from the deterrence of crime;
      3. disrupt the safety and security of the unit/facility; or
      4. cause serious operations problems."
    3. "Interviews with offenders who are diagnosed with psychotic disorders are prohibited. Due to medical confidentiality laws, this reason shall not be cited."
    4. "An interview may be prohibited:
      1. when the offender is in solitary confinement or administrative segregation;
      2. for a reasonable adjustment time after the offender returns to prison on parole revocation."
    5. "If an offender is awaiting trial, such interviews may be permitted only with the consent of the offender's attorney, or if the offender does not have an attorney, with the consent of the court."
    6. "Each interview session shall not be more than 45 minutes in length."

J. Wyoming

Pursuant to Wyoming Department of Corrections policy # 7.015 dated 4/1/96, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/24/99.

  1. News Media Visits

    1. "Visits from the news media shall be encouraged and handled directly through the field public information officer...with the approval of the warden and departmental PIO."
    2. "The FPIO shall allow access only to program areas of the facility that have been approved by the warden."
    3. "Any photographs or videos of inmates that identify the inmate require the inmate's written release."
    4. "The FPIO shall preserve the inmate's individual right of privacy."
    5. "The FPIO shall portray a factual picture of the institution...requests for staff interviews should be approved in advance by the department PIO."
    6. "The FPIO shall ensure that members of the news team are aware of their responsibility regarding custody and security."

  2. Inmate Interviews

    1. "Telephone interviews with inmates will not be approved, nor messages delivered to inmates."
      1. "The facility will be responsible to ensure that the inmate calling list does not include media telephone numbers."
      2. "The warden or director may at their sole discretion divert from this policy."
    2. "No face-to-face or on-camera interviews will be permitted in any DOC facility by offenders."
      1. "Exceptions to this are at the sole discretion of the director."
      2. "No exceptions to inmates under sentence of death will be granted."
    3. "All media contacts will be reported to the division of prisons administrator."

K. United States (Federal Bureau of Prisons)

Pursuant to Federal Bureau of Prisons policy # 1480.04 dated 5/19/99, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/20/99.

  1. Institutional Visits by the News Media -- Section 540.62

    1. "A media representative shall make advance appointments for visits."
    2. "When media representatives visit the institutions, photographs of programs and activities may be taken...[they] may meet with groups of inmates engaged in authorized programs and activities. An inmate has the right not to be photographed and not to have his or her voice recorded...media is required to obtain written permission from an inmate before photographing or recording..."
    3. "The warden may suspend all media visits during an institutional emergency and for a reasonable time after the emergency."
    4. "An inmate currently confined in an institution may not be employed or act as a reporter or publish under a byline."
    5. "Interviews by reporters and others...may be permitted only by special arrangement and with approval of the warden."

  2. Personal interviews between inmates and the news media -- Section 540.63

    1. "An inmate may not receive compensation or anything of value for interviews with the news media."
    2. "Either an inmate or a representative of the news media may initiate a request for a personal interview at an institution."
    3. "Visits by the news media to conduct personal interviews are subject to the same conditions stated in Section 540.62. A news media representative shall make a request...within a reasonable time prior to the personal interview."
    4. "Staff shall notify an inmate of each interview request, and shall...obtain from the inmate written consent...prior to the interview..."
    5. "As a prerequisite...an inmate must authorize the institutional staff to respond to comments made in the interview and to release information...relative to the inmate's comments."
    6. "The warden shall normally approve or disapprove an interview request within 24 to 48 hours of the request."
    7. "The warden shall document any disapproval. A request for an interview may be denied for any of the following reasons:
      1. The news media representative, or the news organization which he or she represents, does not agree to the conditions established by this subpart or has, in the past, failed to abide by the required conditions.
      2. The inmate is physically or mentally unable to participate.
      3. The inmate is a juvenile and written consent has not been obtained from the inmate's parent or guardian.
      4. The interview...would endanger the health or safety of the interviewer, or would probably cause serious unrest or disturb the good order of the institution.
      5. The inmate is involved in a pending court action and the court having jurisdiction has issued an order forbidding such interviews.
      6. In the case of unconvicted persons held in federal institutions, interviews are not authorized until there is clearance with the court having jurisdiction.
      7. The inmate is a "protection" case and revelation of his or her whereabouts would endanger the inmate's safety."
    8. "Interviews are normally held in the institution visiting room during normal weekday business hours. The warden may:
      1. Determine that another location is more suitable for conducting the interview;
      2. Limit interview time for the entire institution if...interviews are imposing a serious drain on staff or use of the facilities;
      3. Limit to one one-hour interview per month for an inmate in segregation, restricted, holdover, control unit, or hospital status if required by special security, custodial, or supervisory needs; and
      4. Limit the amount of audio, video, and film equipment or number of media personnel entering the institution if...the requested equipment or personnel would create a disruption within the institution."
    9. "In conjunction with the personal interview, if the member of the media wishes to tour the institution, he or she must comply with the provisions."
    10. "Interviews are not subject to auditory supervision."

L. United Kingdom

Pursuant to The Prison Rules 1999, as published on the internet site of Her Majesty's Prison Service.

There is no section of the rules dealing specifically with the news media as a group, however, below are the guidelines on access to facilities:

  1. Viewing of Prisons -- Section 72
    1. "No outside person shall be permitted to view a prison unless authorized by statute or the secretary of state."
    2. "No person viewing the prison shall be permitted to take a photograph, make a sketch or communicate with a prisoner unless authorized by statute or the secretary of state."


Research compiled by Frances Marine
Office of Public Affairs
Florida Department of Corrections
1 October 1999


Submit comments to:
C. J. Drake (publicaffairs@mail.dc.state.fl.us)
Director of Public Affairs
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 488-0420/Fax: 922-2848