|October 1, 1999||
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
FAX: (850) 922-2848
Policy Review on
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.
Pursuant to Arizona Department of Corrections policy #201 dated 9/1/96 received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.
Pursuant to California Department of Corrections policy (Title 15) dated 6/1/92, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/13/99.
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."
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:
On 17 May 1996, pursuant to a memorandum from Bill Thurber, PPD 3.01.05 regarding visitor access was rescinded.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)."
Pursuant to Georgia Department of Corrections policy # IJ01-001 dated 4/11/97, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.
Pursuant to Florida Department of Corrections staff conversation with Illinois Department of Corrections' Public Information Office on 9/20/99.
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.
Pursuant to New York Department of Correctional Services policy #0401 dated 9/5/90, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 3/25/99.
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.
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.
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.
Pursuant to Wyoming Department of Corrections policy # 7.015 dated 4/1/96, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/24/99.
Pursuant to Federal Bureau of Prisons policy # 1480.04 dated 5/19/99, received by Florida Department of Corrections on 9/20/99.
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:
Research compiled by Frances Marine
Office of Public Affairs
Florida Department of Corrections
1 October 1999
Submit comments to:
C. J. Drake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director of Public Affairs
Florida Department of Corrections
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Phone: (850) 488-0420/Fax: 922-2848