Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map | Mobile Site

Senate Tracker: Sign Up | Login

The Florida Senate

2017 Florida Statutes

F.S. 20.315
20.315 Department of Corrections.There is created a Department of Corrections.
(1) PURPOSE.The purpose of the Department of Corrections is to protect the public through the incarceration and supervision of offenders and to rehabilitate offenders through the application of work, programs, and services. The goals of the department shall be:
(a) To protect society by providing incarceration that will support the intentions of established criminal law.
(b) To ensure that inmates work while they are incarcerated and that the department makes every effort to collect restitution and other monetary assessments from inmates while they are incarcerated or under supervision.
(c) To work in partnerships with local communities to further efforts toward crime prevention.
(d) To provide a safe and humane environment for offenders and staff in which rehabilitation is possible. This should include the protection of the offender from victimization within the institution and the development of a system of due process, where applicable.
(e) To provide appropriate supervision for offenders released on community supervision, based on public safety risks and offender needs, and, in conjunction with the judiciary, public safety agencies, and local communities, develop safe, community-based alternatives.
(f) To provide programs, which may include academic, vocational, and treatment, to incarcerated offenders and supervised offenders which will prepare them for occupations available in the community.
(g) To provide library services at correctional institutions, which includes general and law library services.
(h) To provide judges with effective evaluative tools and information for use in sentencing decisions.
(i) To provide the level of security in institutions commensurate with the custody requirements and management needs of inmates.
(j) To ensure that the rights and needs of crime victims are recognized and met, including the need for the victim to be timely notified of the release or escape of an inmate.
(2) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.It is the intent of the Legislature that:
(a) The department focus its attention on the removal of barriers that could prevent the inmate’s successful return to society while supervising and incarcerating offenders at a level of security commensurate with the danger they present to the public.
(b) The department work in partnership with communities in the construction of facilities and the development of programs to offenders.
(c) The department develop a comprehensive program for the treatment of youthful offenders and other special needs offenders committed to the department, including female, elderly, and disabled offenders.
(d) The department pursue partnerships with other governmental entities and private industry for the purpose of furthering mutual goals and expanding work and educational opportunities for offenders.
(3) SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS.The head of the Department of Corrections is the Secretary of Corrections. The secretary is appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The secretary is responsible for planning, coordinating, and managing the corrections system of the state. The secretary shall ensure that the programs and services of the department are administered in accordance with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations, with established program standards, and consistent with legislative intent. The secretary shall identify the need for and recommend funding for the secure and efficient operation of the state correctional system.
(a) The secretary shall appoint a deputy secretary. The deputy secretary shall be directly responsible to the secretary and shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary.
(b) The secretary shall appoint a general counsel and an inspector general, who are exempt from part II of chapter 110 and are included in the Senior Management Service.
(c) The secretary may appoint assistant secretaries, directors, or other such persons that he or she deems are necessary to accomplish the mission and goals of the department, including, but not limited to, the following areas of program responsibility:
1. Security and institutional operations, which shall provide inmate work programs, offender programs, security administration, emergency operations response, and operational oversight of the regions.
2. Health services, which shall be headed by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or an osteopathic physician licensed under chapter 459, or a professionally trained health care administrator with progressively responsible experience in health care administration. This individual shall be responsible for the delivery of health services to offenders within the system and shall have direct professional authority over such services.
3. Community corrections, which shall provide for coordination of community alternatives to incarceration and operational oversight of community corrections regions.
4. Administrative services, which shall provide budget and accounting services within the department, including the construction and maintenance of correctional institutions, human resource management, research, planning and evaluation, and technology.
5. Program, transition, and postrelease services, which shall provide for the direct management and supervision of all departmental programs, including the coordination and delivery of education and job training to the offenders in the custody of the department. In addition, this program shall provide for the direct management and supervision of all programs that furnish transition assistance to inmates who are or have recently been in the custody of the department, including the coordination, facilitation, and contract management of prerelease and postrelease transition services provided by governmental and private providers, including faith-based service groups.
(4) REGIONS.The department shall plan and administer its program of services for community corrections, security, and institutional operations through regions.
(5) ANNUAL REPORTING.The department shall report annually to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives recounting its activities and making recommendations for improvements to the performance of the department.
(a) The secretary shall develop and submit annually to the Legislature a comprehensive departmental budget request.
(b) The department, consistent with chapter 216, may transfer, as necessary, funds and positions among budget entities to realign appropriations with the revised budget entity designations. Such authorized revisions must be consistent with the intent of the approved operating budget. The department shall periodically review the appropriateness of the budget entity designations and the adequacy of its delegated authority to transfer funds between entities and submit the reviews to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. To fulfill this responsibility, the secretary shall have the authority to review, amend, and approve the annual budget requests of all departmental activities.
(7) PLACEMENT OF OFFENDERS.The department shall classify its programs according to the character and range of services available for its clients. The department shall place each offender in the program or facility most appropriate to the offender’s needs, subject to budgetary limitations and the availability of space.
(8) DISCHARGE FROM COMMITMENT.When the law grants to an agent, officer, or administrator of the Department of Corrections the authority to make a discharge from commitment, such authority shall be vested in the Secretary of Corrections or in any agent who, in his or her discretion, the secretary may authorize.
(9) FORM OF COMMITMENT; NOTICE OF PAROLE VIOLATION.All commitments shall state the statutory authority therefor. The Secretary of Corrections shall have the authority to prescribe the form to be used for commitments. This act does not abridge the authority and responsibility of the Florida Commission on Offender Review with respect to the granting and revocation of parole. The Department of Corrections shall notify the Florida Commission on Offender Review of all violations of parole conditions and provide reports connected thereto as may be requested by the commission. The commission shall have the authority to issue orders dealing with supervision of specific parolees, and such orders shall be binding on all parties.
(10) SINGLE INFORMATION AND RECORDS SYSTEM.Only one offender-based information and records computer system shall be maintained by the Department of Corrections for the joint use of the department and the Florida Commission on Offender Review. The data system shall be managed through the department’s office of information technology. The department shall develop and maintain, in consultation with the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Information Systems Council under s. 943.08, such offender-based information, including clemency administration information and other computer services to serve the needs of both the department and the Florida Commission on Offender Review. The department shall notify the commission of all violations of parole and the circumstances thereof.
(11) TRANSFER OF AUTHORITY.All statutory functions of the department not otherwise herein assigned to a specific unit of the department are assigned generally to the department and may be allocated and reallocated by the secretary to an authorized unit of the department.
(12) PURCHASE OF SERVICES.Whenever possible, the department, in accordance with the established program objectives and performance criteria, may contract for the provision of services by counties, municipalities, nonprofit corporations, and other entities capable of providing needed services, if services so provided are more cost-efficient, cost-effective, or timely than those provided by the department or available to it under existing law. 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, ch. 75-49; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 1, ch. 78-53; s. 4, ch. 78-323; s. 6, ch. 79-7; s. 65, ch. 79-190; s. 1, ch. 82-46; s. 1, ch. 82-171; s. 3, ch. 83-85; s. 2, ch. 83-265; s. 1, ch. 85-330; s. 6, ch. 85-340; s. 16, ch. 86-183; s. 1, ch. 87-224; s. 1, ch. 87-298; ss. 1, 28, 84, ch. 88-122; s. 3, ch. 90-247; s. 67, ch. 91-45; s. 2, ch. 91-281; s. 3, ch. 92-173; s. 2, ch. 92-310; s. 7, ch. 93-262; s. 1, ch. 94-117; s. 8, ch. 94-209; s. 1320, ch. 95-147; s. 8, ch. 95-325; s. 1, ch. 96-278; s. 6, ch. 96-388; s. 9, ch. 97-194; ss. 20, 21, ch. 98-136; s. 3, ch. 98-251; s. 8, ch. 99-2; s. 1, ch. 99-271; s. 5, ch. 2001-60; s. 1, ch. 2001-110; s. 1, ch. 2004-248; s. 1, ch. 2006-32; s. 3, ch. 2009-80; s. 2, ch. 2011-50; s. 3, ch. 2014-191.