Notice of Proposed Rule

33-601.210: Custody Classification
PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose and effect of the proposed rule is to clarify the procedures for custody classification assessment and review.
SUMMARY: The proposed rule clarifies the procedures by which an inmate’s classification is assessed and reviewed.
SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS: The agency has determined that this rule will not have an impact on small business. A SERC has not been prepared by the agency.
Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.
SPECIFIC AUTHORITY: 944.09, 958.11 FS.
LAW IMPLEMENTED: 20.315, 921.20, 944.09, 944.17(2), 944.1905, 958.11 FS.
THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Kendra Lee Jowers, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500


33-601.210 Custody Classification.

(1) Facility Assignments.

(a) A mission description shall be prepared for each facility of the Department of Corrections to which an inmate can be assigned. The mission description shall be based upon such factors as staffing patterns, perimeter security, construction features, electronic monitoring capability, type of health services provided, available programs, and any other factors that which may affect the security and safety of the staff, inmates, or the general public. The mission descriptions shall be used to aid in the assignment of inmates to facilities in a manner which will best enable the department to maintain security and order. Inmate evaluation and facility assignment shall be based upon such factors as nature and severity of offense, characteristics of sentence, criminal history, age, and health status, and any other factor relating to the security and order of the institution or the security and safety of the general public. An inmate shall be assigned to a facility that can provide appropriate security and supervision, that can meet the health needs of the inmate as identified by the department’s health services staff, and, to the extent possible, can meet the inmate’s need for programs and is near the location of the inmate’s family. The Secretary secretary may modify the mission of any facility to meet changing needs in response to changes in population characteristics, or in the event of riot, emergency conditions, or other circumstances affecting security and safety of the general public, staff, and inmates.

(b) Inmates who have been committed under the Youthful Offender Act shall not be placed at a non-youthful offender institution except under the following circumstances:

1. The If the youthful offender is convicted of a new crime that which is a felony under the laws of this state;

2. The If the youthful offender becomes such a serious management or disciplinary problem as to render his assignment to the youthful offender program detrimental to the program and to other youthful offender inmates assigned thereto;

3. The If the youthful offender needs medical treatment, health services, or other specialized treatment otherwise not available at the youthful offender institution or facility;

4. The If the department determines that the youthful offender should be transferred outside of the state correctional system, as provided by law, for services not provided by the department; or

5. Bed If bed space is not available in a designated community facility. In such case, the youthful offender shall be separated, insofar as is practicable, from other offenders.

(2) Custody Grade Classification.

(a) Each inmate shall be placed in one of the five custody grades: community, minimum, medium, close, or maximum.

(b) Information from all available sources shall be used to complete an automated custody classification questionnaire Classification Questionnaire. The questionnaire shall reflect the degree of supervision appropriate for the inmate.

(c) No change.

(d) The custody grade resulting from an inmate’s score may be modified if circumstances indicate the need for an exception. The specific reason for the modification shall be explained in the automated system. Reasons for increasing or decreasing the custody grade might, in appropriate cases, include one of the following comments with proper explanation:

1. through 4. No change.

5. Community and public interest concerns (i.e., judge’s or prosecutor’s recommendation, victim/victim family interest, legislative inquiry, law enforcement interest, executive inquiry, personal notoriety, case notoriety, etc.).

a. Family environment (no family ties,; strong family ties,; married/head of household,; crime history in family,; family desertion, family transience, etc.).

b. No change.

6. No change.

7. Status prior to sentencing (i.e., high bond, bond forfeiture, release on bond, jail adjustment, etc.).

8. No change.

(e) through (g) No change.

(h) Except for the offenses listed below, any inmate who is convicted or has been previously convicted or adjudicated delinquent for any crime where a sex act was intended, attempted, or completed shall not be eligible for assignment to community or minimum custody status unless he has previously successfully completed the mentally disordered sex offender program prior to the repeal of Chapter 917, F.S.:

1. through 6. No change.

(i) Any inmate who has been certified as a mentally disordered sex offender pursuant to Chapter 917, F.S., shall not be assigned to minimum custody status unless he has they have successfully completed the mentally disordered sex offender program.

(j) Any inmate who has been designated as an alien by the department, who has been in the custody of the department less than six months, and:

1. through 2. No change.

3. For whom a A decision has been made to deport, shall not be assigned to lower than close custody status.

(k) No change.

(l) The Chairperson of the State Classification Office may approve an inmate listed in paragraph (k) for lower custody after consideration of the following criteria:

1. through 6. No change.

7. Whether the inmate poses a threat to the public.

8. through 10. No change.

(3) Review of Inmates Who Have Special Needs. The secretary shall appoint a special needs committee in central office to review those cases in which inmates have been determined by medical services as having special medical needs or inmates who are elderly and have special needs that which may be in conflict with the custody levels authorized. The special needs committee will evaluate the special needs, the custody requirements, and the institutional placement best suited to meet an inmate’s needs. This committee has the authority to make the final assignment that meets the inmate’s needs within the medical and facility resources of the department. This may include a special custody exception on a case by case basis. Inmates identified as having special needs or requiring special review shall be recommended to the impaired inmate special needs coordinator in the central office who will coordinate with classification services and refer each case to the special needs committee. The special needs committee shall be comprised of the Chairperson of the State Classification Office, the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator, and the Impaired Inmate Coordinator for Health Services. Committee decisions shall be reviewed by the Secretary secretary.

(4) Progress Assessments.

(a) No change.

(b) Assessments shall be periodically prepared for the purpose of:

1. Recording the inmate’s adjustment to the institution and treatment program.

2. Recording changes of program that have taken place.

2.3. Evaluating the inmate’s potential future adjustment.

3.4. Establishing positive adjustment Making recommendations for program changes, establishing goals and motivating the inmate to achieve those the goals.

5. Providing Provide the inmate with an opportunity to become involved in assessing his progress needs and in stating his work and program interests selecting programs to meet those needs.

a. Periodic assessments will record the inmate’s program interests.

b. Program goals and placements will be based on the needs assessments tool and within the parameters of that tool.

(c) All inmates are required to appear for assessments and reviews unless a permanent medical condition makes them incapable of participating and the reason is documented in the review. Under any other circumstances, the assessment and review shall be rescheduled if the inmate fails to appear or is temporarily unavailable to attend as scheduled. An inmate shall be notified a minimum of forty-eight hours in advance of an assessment and review unless the inmate waives such notice in writing. All inmates shall be scheduled for assessments at least every 12 months. and reviews as follows:

1. Inmates with three years or less remaining to serve shall receive an assessment and review every six months;

2. Inmates with more than three years remaining to serve shall receive an assessment and review every twelve months;

3. Inmates with life sentences with no parole, life sentences with no established release date, or death sentences will receive an assessment and review every twenty-four months. At the point where a parole release date is established in these cases the schedule of progress reports shall be in accordance with subparagraphs 33-601.210(4)(c)1. and 2., F.A.C.

4. Close management, work release and transition plan documentation may be substituted for the required assessments.

(d) through (e) No change.

(f) In preparing assessments, care should be taken that all pertinent facts are included to insure that all up-to-date information concerning changes in an inmate’s activity are documented. Additionally, any new recommendations of the committee in regard to inmate goals should be carefully documented and supporting facts included. If at the time of the review the inmate is being recommended for work release, the Form DC6-127, Checklist for Transfers to Work Release Centers will suffice for the assessment. Form DC6-127 is incorporated by reference in Rule 33-601.602, F.A.C.

(g) An assessment and review will be completed on all transfers by the receiving facility transfer recommendations except as authorized by a member of the State Classification Office. Movement from one location to another on a temporary basis does not require an assessment and review.

(h) An assessment and review shall be prepared whenever an inmate is being recommended for parole or for permanent transfer to another institution. When an inmate is transferred on an emergency basis and there is insufficient time to prepare an assessment and review, a written statement will be included in the inmate record outlining the emergency situation and any pertinent security or medical problems. An assessment and review from the sending institution should be forwarded to the receiving institution as soon as possible.

(i) All recommendations for a transfer to another facility, or to a contract drug treatment program, or for work release shall require the approval of the State Classification Office.

(j) At the time of the first assessment and review, should the inmate record not contain either a pre-sentence or post-sentence investigation, the classification officer is responsible for requesting such documents from the Probation and Parole Services Office in the region from which the inmate was committed. Care should be exercised to ensure that at least sixty (60) days have has lapsed since the post-sentence investigation was originally requested prior to making this follow-up.

(k) No change.

(l) Assessments and reviews may contain recommendations for the setting of sentences pursuant to Section 921.22, F.S. Such recommendations should specify a definite period of years or months, taking into account the tentative expiration date on the set term, the amount of gain time earned and the amount of time it will take to process the recommendation. Such recommendations should be based on all information concerning the inmate that which is available to the team.

(m) The department may in selected cases recommend to the Florida Parole Commission that an inmate be placed on parole at an earlier date than scheduled. Note should be made of an inmate’s presumptive parole release date (PPRD) when considering such possibilities. If it is felt that such significant progress has taken place since the setting of the PPRD that it should be moved forward to an earlier date, then such recommendations should be made to the Parole Commission in an assessment and review setting forth the basis for recommending a change in the PPRD. All assessments and reviews containing parole recommendations will be reviewed and approved or disapproved by the Institutional Classification Team and forwarded to the State Classification Office for approval or disapproval. The assessment and review shall then be submitted to the Chief of the Bureau of Classification and Central Records who, on behalf of the Secretary secretary, shall make a recommendation to the Parole Commission. A copy of the report shall be forwarded to the Parole Commission.

Rulemaking Specific Authority 944.09, 958.11 FS. Law Implemented 20.315, 921.20, 944.09, 944.17(2), 944.1905, 958.11 FS. History– New 12-7-81, Formerly 33-6.09, Amended 6-8-82, 10-26-83, 6-8-86, 7-8-86, 10-27-88, 1-1-89, 7-4-89, 10-12-89, 1-2-91, Formerly 33-6.009, Amended 7-21-91, 8-30-92, 5-13-96, 6-12-96, 11-19-96, 10-15-97, Formerly 33-6.0045, Amended 9-19-00, 2-25-07, 11-4-08, _______.

NAME OF PERSON ORIGINATING PROPOSED RULE: John Hancock, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Institutions