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The Florida Senate

CS/CS/SB 1118 — Inmate Welfare Trust Funds

by Appropriations Committee; Criminal Justice Committee; and Senators Brandes, Pizzo, Bracy, and Powell

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Criminal Justice Committee (CJ)

The bill amends s. 945.215, F.S, authorizing the deposit of up to $2.5 million collected from specified funds into the State-Operated Institutions Inmate Welfare Trust Fund, which is a trust fund created by SB 1116 to be held by the Department of Corrections (DOC) for the benefit and welfare of inmates incarcerated in correctional facilities operated by the DOC, including:

  • Net proceeds from operating inmate canteens, vending machines used primarily by inmates and visitors, hobby shops, other such facilities, and contracted telephone commissions.
  • Any funds that may be assigned by inmates or donated to the DOC by the general public or an inmate service organization.
  • All proceeds from the confiscation and liquidation of any contraband found upon, or in the possession of, any inmate; disciplinary fines imposed against inmates; forfeitures of inmate earnings; and unexpended balances in individual inmate trust fund accounts of less than $1.

The bill requires any proceeds or funds collected in a fiscal year above the $2.5 million cap to be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Funds may only be expended pursuant to legislative appropriation. The bill requires the funds to be used exclusively to provide for or operate specified programming needs, specifically including:

  • Literacy programs, vocational training programs, and educational programs.
  • Inmate chapels, faith-based programs, visiting pavilions, visiting services and programs, family services and programs, and libraries.
  • Inmate substance abuse treatment programs and transition and life skills training programs.
  • The purchase, rental, maintenance, or repair of electronic or audiovisual equipment, media, services, and programming used by inmates; recreation and wellness equipment; and bicycles used by inmates traveling to and from employment in the work-release program authorized under s. 945.091(1)(b), F.S.

The bill requires the DOC to compile and submit a report, compiled at both the statewide and institutional levels, to the Governor and the chairs of the appropriate substantive and fiscal committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives annually by October 1 of each year documenting the receipts and expenditures of the trust fund for the previous fiscal year.

The bill provides an appropriation of $2.5 million in recurring funds for the 2020-2021 fiscal year from the State-Operated Institutions Inmate Welfare Trust Fund to the DOC for the above-stated purpose.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2020.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 118-0