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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 944
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F.S. 944.151
944.151 Safe operation and security of correctional institutions and facilities.It is the intent of the Legislature that the Department of Corrections shall be responsible for the safe operation and security of the correctional institutions and facilities. The safe operation and security of the state’s correctional institutions and facilities are critical to ensure public safety and the safety of department employees and offenders, and to contain violent and chronic offenders until offenders are otherwise released from the department’s custody pursuant to law. The Secretary of Corrections shall, at a minimum:
(1) Appoint appropriate department staff to a safety and security review committee that shall evaluate new safety and security technology, review and discuss current issues impacting state and private correctional institutions and facilities, and review and discuss other issues as requested by department management.
(2) Direct appropriate department staff to establish a periodic schedule for the physical inspection of buildings and structures of each state and private correctional institution and facility to determine safety and security deficiencies. In scheduling the inspections, priority shall be given to older institutions and facilities; institutions and facilities that house a large proportion of violent offenders; institutions and facilities that have experienced a significant number of inappropriate incidents of use of force on inmates, assaults on employees, or inmate sexual abuse; and institutions and facilities that have experienced a significant number of escapes or escape attempts in the past.
(3) Direct appropriate department staff to conduct or cause to be conducted announced and unannounced comprehensive security audits of all state and private correctional institutions and facilities. Priority shall be given to those institutions and facilities that have experienced a significant number of inappropriate incidents of use of force on inmates, assaults on employees, or sexual abuse. At a minimum, the audit must include an evaluation of the physical plant, landscaping, fencing, security alarms and perimeter lighting, and confinement, arsenal, key and lock, and entrance and exit policies. The evaluation of the physical plant policies must include the identification of blind spots or areas where staff or inmates may be isolated and the deployment of video monitoring systems and other appropriate monitoring technologies in such spots or areas. Each correctional institution and facility shall be audited at least annually. The secretary shall annually report the audit findings to the Governor and the Legislature.
(4) Direct appropriate department staff to investigate and evaluate the usefulness and dependability of existing safety and security technology at state and private correctional institutions and facilities, investigate and evaluate new available safety and security technology, and make periodic written recommendations to the secretary on the discontinuation or purchase of various safety and security devices.
(5) Direct appropriate department staff to contract, if deemed necessary, with security personnel, consulting engineers, architects, or other safety and security experts the department deems necessary for safety and security consultant services.
(6) Direct appropriate department staff, in conjunction with the regional offices, to establish a periodic schedule for conducting announced and unannounced escape simulation drills.
(7) Direct appropriate department staff to maintain and produce quarterly reports with accurate escape statistics. For the purposes of these reports, the term “escape” includes all possible types of escape, regardless of prosecution by the state attorney, and includes offenders who walk away from nonsecure community facilities.
(8) Direct appropriate department staff to adopt, enforce, and annually evaluate the emergency escape response procedures, which must at a minimum include the immediate notification and inclusion of local and state law enforcement through a mutual aid agreement.
(9) Direct appropriate department staff to review staffing policies and practices as needed.
(10) Direct appropriate department staff to adopt and enforce minimum safety and security standards and policies that include, but are not limited to:
(a) Random monitoring of outgoing telephone calls by inmates.
(b) Maintenance of current photographs of all inmates.
(c) Daily inmate counts at varied intervals.
(d) Use of canine units, where appropriate.
(e) Use of escape alarms and perimeter lighting.
(f) Use of the Florida Crime Information Center and National Crime Information Center capabilities.
(g) Employment background investigations.
(11) Direct appropriate department staff to submit in the annual legislative budget request a prioritized summary of critical safety and security deficiencies and repair and renovation security needs.
History.s. 15, ch. 95-283; s. 13, ch. 2000-161; s. 2, ch. 2017-31.