Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1768 By Senator Torres 15-01586-20 20201768__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Department of Corrections; 3 amending s. 20.315, F.S.; revising the method for 4 appointing the Secretary of Corrections; creating the 5 Florida Corrections Commission within the department; 6 providing for membership and terms of office; 7 providing duties and responsibilities of the 8 commission; prohibiting the commission from 9 interfering with the department’s operations; 10 providing meeting and notice requirements; requiring 11 the commission to appoint an executive director; 12 authorizing reimbursement for per diem and travel 13 expenses; prohibiting certain conflicts of interest; 14 providing applicability; providing an effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Present subsections (4) through (12) of section 19 20.315, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (5) 20 through (13), respectively, a new subsection (4) is added to 21 that section, and subsection (3) of that section is amended, to 22 read: 23 20.315 Department of Corrections.—There is created a 24 Department of Corrections. 25 (3) SECRETARY OF CORRECTIONS.—The head of the Department of 26 Corrections is the Secretary of Corrections. The secretary shall 27 be
isappointed by the Governor with the concurrence of three 28 members of the Cabinet, subject to confirmation by the Senate, 29 and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor and Cabinet. The 30 secretary is responsible for planning, coordinating, and 31 managing the corrections system of the state. The secretary 32 shall ensure that the programs and services of the department 33 are administered in accordance with state and federal laws, 34 rules, and regulations, with established program standards, and 35 consistent with legislative intent. The secretary shall identify 36 the need for and recommend funding for the secure and efficient 37 operation of the state correctional system. 38 (a) The secretary shall appoint a deputy secretary. The 39 deputy secretary shall be directly responsible to the secretary 40 and shall serve at the pleasure of the secretary. 41 (b) The secretary shall appoint a general counsel and an 42 inspector general, who are exempt from part II of chapter 110 43 and are included in the Senior Management Service. 44 (c) The secretary may appoint assistant secretaries, 45 directors, or other such persons that he or she deems are 46 necessary to accomplish the mission and goals of the department, 47 including, but not limited to, the following areas of program 48 responsibility: 49 1. Security and institutional operations, which shall 50 provide inmate work programs, offender programs, security 51 administration, emergency operations response, and operational 52 oversight of the regions. 53 2. Health services, which shall be headed by a physician 54 licensed under chapter 458 or an osteopathic physician licensed 55 under chapter 459, or a professionally trained health care 56 administrator with progressively responsible experience in 57 health care administration. This individual shall be responsible 58 for the delivery of health services to offenders within the 59 system and shall have direct professional authority over such 60 services. 61 3. Community corrections, which shall provide for 62 coordination of community alternatives to incarceration and 63 operational oversight of community corrections regions. 64 4. Administrative services, which shall provide budget and 65 accounting services within the department, including the 66 construction and maintenance of correctional institutions, human 67 resource management, research, planning and evaluation, and 68 technology. 69 5. Program, transition, and postrelease services, which 70 shall provide for the direct management and supervision of all 71 departmental programs, including the coordination and delivery 72 of education and job training to the offenders in the custody of 73 the department. In addition, this program shall provide for the 74 direct management and supervision of all programs that furnish 75 transition assistance to inmates who are or have recently been 76 in the custody of the department, including the coordination, 77 facilitation, and contract management of prerelease and 78 postrelease transition services provided by governmental and 79 private providers, including faith-based service groups. 80 (4) FLORIDA CORRECTIONS COMMISSION.—The Florida Corrections 81 Commission, a commission as defined in s. 20.03(10), is created. 82 Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the commission 83 shall operate in a manner consistent with s. 20.052. The 84 commission is assigned to the department for administrative and 85 fiscal accountability purposes, but it shall otherwise function 86 independently of the control, supervision, and direction of the 87 department. The primary focus of the commission shall be on 88 matters relating to corrections with an emphasis on the safe and 89 effective operations of major correctional institutions. 90 However, in instances in which the policies of other components 91 of the criminal justice system affect corrections, the 92 commission shall advise and make recommendations. 93 (a) The commission shall consist of nine members appointed 94 by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. The 95 initial members of the commission shall be appointed by October 96 1, 2020. Members of the commission shall be appointed for terms 97 of 4 years. However, to achieve staggered terms, four of the 98 initial members shall be appointed to 2-year terms. Members must 99 be appointed in a manner that ensures equitable representation 100 of different geographic regions of this state. Each member of 101 the commission must be a resident and a registered voter of this 102 state. A commission member must represent the state as a whole 103 and may not subordinate the needs of the state to those of a 104 particular region. The commission’s membership should, to the 105 greatest extent possible, include individuals who are 106 knowledgeable about institutional corruption, correctional 107 facility oversight, correctional operations, officer and inmate 108 safety, and officer and inmate discipline. 109 (b) The primary duties and responsibilities of the Florida 110 Corrections Commission include: 111 1. Conducting announced and unannounced inspections of 112 correctional facilities, including facilities operated by 113 private contractors. 114 2. Identifying and monitoring high-risk and problematic 115 correctional facilities, and reporting findings and 116 recommendations relating to such facilities. 117 3. Continually monitoring on a statewide basis the 118 incidence of inmate-on-inmate and officer-on-inmate violence and 119 the introduction of contraband. 120 4. Submitting an annual report to the Governor, the 121 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 122 Representatives by each November 1, beginning in 2021. 123 5. Developing legislative and operational recommendations 124 for correctional system improvement. 125 6. Convening public hearings, for which the commission is 126 authorized to issue subpoenas and take sworn testimony of 127 witnesses. 128 7. Conducting confidential interviews with staff, officers, 129 inmates, correctional health care professionals, citizens, 130 volunteers, and public officials relating to the operations and 131 conditions of correctional facilities. 132 (c) The commission may not interfere with the day-to-day 133 operations of the department. 134 (d) The commission shall hold a minimum of six regular 135 meetings annually. A majority of the membership of the 136 commission constitutes a quorum at any meeting of the 137 commission. The chair shall be elected from the commission’s 138 membership. The chair shall direct that complete and accurate 139 minutes be kept of all commission meetings, which shall be open 140 for public inspection. Additional meetings may be held upon the 141 written request of at least four members, with at least 1 week’s 142 notice of such meeting being given to all members and the public 143 by the chair pursuant to chapter 120. Emergency meetings may be 144 held without notice upon request of all members. Meetings of the 145 commission shall be held at major correctional facilities around 146 the state as determined by the chair. 147 (e) The commission shall appoint an executive director who 148 shall serve under the direction, supervision, and control of the 149 commission. The executive director, with consent of the 150 commission, shall employ staff as necessary to adequately 151 perform the functions of the commission. 152 (f) Commission members shall serve without compensation but 153 are entitled to receive reimbursement for per diem and travel 154 expenses as provided in s. 112.061. 155 (g) Commission members may not have an immediate family 156 member who works in the department and may not have any 157 interest, direct or indirect, in a contract, franchise, 158 privilege, or other benefit granted or awarded by the department 159 while serving as a member of the commission. 160 Section 2. The amendments made by this act to s. 20.315(3), 161 Florida Statutes, do not apply to a Secretary of Corrections 162 appointed before July 1, 2020. 163 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.