33-104.101: News Media Visitors
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose and effect of the proposed rule is to: clarify that Rules 33-104.201-.204, F.A.C., shall govern the procedures for news media visits with those inmates confined under sentenced of death who have an active death warrant; clarify the permissible types of news media visits (Inmate Interviews and Program Visits), how many media representatives may attend each interview, and the permissible times for interviews; specify the requisite information that must be provided to the Department and institution prior to a news media visit; clarify the procedures that news media outlets and representatives must follow in order to be permitted the particular type of interview sought; specify that inmates’ attorneys, family members, and doctors may not accompany news media representatives on their visits.
SUBJECT AREA TO BE ADDRESSED: News Media Visitors.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 944.09, 944.23 FS.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 944.09, 944.23 FS.
IF REQUESTED IN WRITING AND NOT DEEMED UNNECESSARY BY THE AGENCY HEAD, A RULE DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOP WILL BE NOTICED IN THE NEXT AVAILABLE FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE WEEKLY.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT AND A COPY OF THE PRELIMINARY DRAFT, IF AVAILABLE, IS: Kendra Lee Jowers, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
THE PRELIMINARY TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT IS:
33-104.101 News Media Visitors.
(1) Permission for visits by bona fide news media representatives shall not be unreasonably withheld. This shall apply for visits to inmates other than death sentence inmates with an active death warrant
those confined under sentence of death. Rules 33-104.201-.204, F.A.C., shall govern procedures for media interviews with inmates under sentence of death once an execution date has been set. It shall be the responsibility of the news media representatives requesting the visitation to present to the Office of Public Affairs public affairs office, evidence sufficient to establish that such person is a bona fide news media representative , and to provide the information sufficiently in advance that it may be verified.
(a) News media representatives consist of persons whose principal employment is gathering and reporting news for a:
1. Radio or television program whose primary purpose is news reporting for a licensee of the Federal Communications Commission;
2. Newspaper reporting general interest information news and circulated to the public in the community where it is published;
3. News magazine that has a national circulation, is sold by mail subscriptions, or on newsstands to the general public; and
4. National or international news service.
(b) News media visits to correctional facilities shall be pre-arranged with the Office of Public Affairs public affairs office. There are two (2) types of media visits allowed under this Rule: Inmate Interviews and Program Visits. The following conditions apply to both types of visits News media representatives shall request access to the facility in writing and shall provide the following information:
(a) News media representatives shall be required to provide news station ID and two verifiable contacts for the media group they represent. Phone numbers for these contacts and for each member of a media crew must also be provided. If the contacts provided do not confirm the representative’s association with the respective media group, the representative shall be required to provide two additional contacts. If such contacts do not confirm the representative’s association with the respective media group, the interview shall be cancelled and the media representative shall not be permitted future interviews.
1. Full name, date of birth, race and gender for all persons entering the facility; 2. Purpose of visit; 3. Identity of staff or offender to be seen, if applicable; and 4. Proposed use of camera or other recording devices. The warden must approve possession of news media cameras and recording devices before they are allowed into the facility. (c) News media representatives must provide positive identification. Foreign media must have an “I” Visa on their passports.
(d) Representatives of news media visiting a facility are subject to search pursuant to per Rule 33-601.726, F.A.C.
(e) News media representatives must be escorted by staff. Random access not specific to the purpose of the visit is prohibited.
(f) During an emergency, news media representatives will be restricted to a designated media center.
(e) Media crews are limited to three (3) members.
(f) Attorneys, doctors, inmate family members, and victims or victim family members may not accompany media representatives on their visits.
(g) Each member of a media crew must fill out Form DC1-406, Media Access Background Form, and pass an NCIC/FCIC background check. Form DC1-406 is hereby incorporated by reference. Copies of the form are available from the Forms Control Administrator, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500. The effective date of this form is ______. Form DC1-406 remains valid for six months from the date of signature.
(h) Media representatives must provide identification upon entry into the prison facility.
(i) Foreign media representatives must have an I Visa on their passports.
(j) Media will be given 30 minutes for equipment setup.
(g) Interviews and photographs of on-duty staff may be permitted only with prior authorization of the Office of Public Affairs public affairs office and the staff member.
1. Department employees are not permitted to accept compensation for on-duty news media interviews.
2. Photographing on-duty staff without their permission is prohibited.
3. Inmate are not allowed to accept compensation for media interviews.
(2) The warden of an institution or his designee may authorize members of the news media to visit that institution for the purpose of observing institutional programs. Such visits may be authorized between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, provided the warden, or his designee, determines that such visits would not impair or disrupt the normal operations or security of the facility, and would not endanger the safety of the visitor. The warden, or his designee, also may restrict the use of photographic or recording equipment, and may restrict areas of the facility which may be toured. Casual contact with inmates during tours shall not be of such duration that they are disruptive of program operations or institutional functions.
(l) Privacy rights of inmates shall be observed by the media. No photographs, movie films, television tapes, or recordings may be made without the consent of the inmate involved
and the prior approval of the warden or his designee. (3) A request from a news media representative for an interview with a specific inmate shall include the name of the inmate and such other identification as the media representative might possess. The request for an interview shall be made to the Department of Corrections Public Affairs Office in Tallahassee. Interviews may be granted, subject to prior approval of such interview by the inmate. The time and duration of the interview shall be determined by the public affairs office. Such interviews may be refused if: (a) The inmate is in disciplinary confinement; (b) The inmate is classified as close management; (c) The inmate has serious psychological problems; (d) The warden, or the assistant warden or the next senior officer present in the chain of command in the absence of the warden, has reason to believe that such interview will impair the security or normal operation of the facility; (e) The inmate is a hospital or infirmary patient. Interviews shall be approved at a time mutually agreeable to the facility warden, or the assistant warden or the next senior officer present in the chain of command in the absence of the warden, to the inmate and to the interviewer.
(4) Inmate Interviews. Media representatives wishing to conduct in-person inmate interviews must:
News media representatives desiring to visit must be fully clothed, which includes shoes. Visitors shall not be admitted to the visiting area if they are not appropriately clothed or are dressed in revealing attire. Examples of inappropriate attire are: miniskirts, see-through blouses, bra-less attire, tank tops, swimsuits, shorts, undershirts, and other like attire.
(a) Write the inmate in accordance with the provisions of Rule 33-210.101, F.A.C., and request a handwritten, signed, and dated letter of consent from the inmate.
(b) Fax the inmate’s consent as well as the contact information required by paragraph (3)(a) of this Rule to the Office of Public Affairs. Media representatives should allow at least two weeks for the interview clearance process. In addition to the provisions of subsection (3) of this Rule, the following conditions apply to all inmate interviews:
1. Phone interviews. Phone interviews are not coordinated through the Office of Public Affairs. To obtain a phone interview, news media representatives must write the inmate and request to be added to his phone list. The inmate will call you collect at his discretion once you have been added. This process can take several months.
2. The following will result in cancellation of an inmate interview and may result in refusal of future interviews for both the individual media representative and the media group:
a. Submitting false or incomplete information on a background form.
b. Failure to comply with security procedures, including dress code and interview setup procedures.
c. Failure to comply with instructions of on-site security staff.
d. A request by the inmate at any time and for any reason to cancel the interview.
3. Media representatives shall not be given access to inmates in special housing, such as disciplinary or administrative confinement, protective management, close or maximum management, mental health housing or infirmaries or to inmates receiving hospital care.
4. Inmates are allowed only one hour-long interview per month.
5. Only bona fide news media representatives are permitted on-site, on-camera interviews with inmates.
6. All inmate interviews must be conducted for the purpose of gathering information for a media event. The Office of Public Affairs strives to accommodate as broad a definition of media as possible.
7. The Florida Department of Corrections does not sign film crew or media location releases.
8. Visits may be authorized between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays, provided the warden or designee determines that such visits would not impair or disrupt the normal operations or security of the facility and would not endanger the safety of the visitor.
9. Interviews shall not be allowed during inmate visitation.
10. No part of the institution may be filmed except the interior of the interview room.
11. Filming may only begin after the inmate has arrived and been seated. Close up shots of the prison sign at the institution’s entrance are permitted. No exterior shots of the institution will be permitted. Failure to comply constitutes a serious threat to security. Violators shall have their interview cancelled and shall not be permitted future interviews.
12. Foreign Press. In addition to all of the above, foreign press members must provide criminal history clearance from the official criminal history registry of their native country. Contact information for a representative from the agency that maintains that registry must also be provided. A legible copy of the foreign media representative’s passport must be submitted to the Office of Public Affairs.
13. Media representatives wanting to interview inmates housed at private facilities must contact the Florida Department of Management Services to arrange the interview.
(5) Program Visits – In addition to the provisions of subsection (3) of this Rule, the following conditions apply to all program visits, which are visits to a volunteer or staff led inmate betterment program:
(a) News media visits to inmate programs must be pre-arranged with the Office of Public Affairs.
(b) Programs qualifying for media visits can have one (1) visit per month for up to four (4) hours. Media representatives will have no more than 30 minutes to set up equipment.
(c) Programs involving inmate mental and physical health information do not qualify for media visits.
(d) The volunteer or staff program leader must pre-approve a program visit.
(e) Inmates who do not want to appear on film must be able to attend a program that is the subject of a program visit, and such inmates may not be filmed during the visit. Inmates shall be asked in advance of each program visit to sign Form DC6-236, Inmate Request, indicating consent to be videotaped. Form DC6-236 is incorporated by reference in Rule 33-103.019, F.A.C. Inmates who decline to provide written consent to be filmed shall be grouped together in a section during the program visit, and media representatives shall be advised not to film this group during the visit. Department personnel shall immediately stop any interview or program visit if it is discovered that a media representative is disregarding the wishes of an inmate who has not consented to being on camera.
(f) Department personnel shall immediately stop any interview or program visit if the media are refusing to cooperate with staff.
(g) Filming is allowed only in the program area and not on the open compound.
Specific Authority 944.09, 944.23 FS. Law Implemented 944.09, 944.23 FS. History–New 10-16-83, Amended 6-20-85, Formerly 33-5.14, 33-5.014, Amended 10-30-02,________.