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.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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 is appointed 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.