Florida Senate - 2020 SB 228 By Senator Thurston 33-00428-20 2020228__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to youth in solitary confinement; 3 creating s. 958.155, F.S.; providing a short title; 4 defining terms; prohibiting the Department of 5 Corrections or a local governmental body from 6 subjecting youth prisoners to solitary confinement 7 except under certain circumstances; limiting cell 8 confinement of all youth prisoners; providing 9 protection for youth prisoners held in emergency cell 10 confinement; prohibiting youth prisoners from being 11 subjected to emergency cell confinement under certain 12 circumstances; requiring facility staff to document 13 placements of youth prisoners in emergency cell 14 confinement; requiring that within a specified time 15 and at specified intervals a mental health clinician 16 perform a face-to-face evaluation of youth prisoners 17 who are subjected to emergency cell confinement; 18 requiring each evaluation to be documented; requiring 19 facility staff to perform visual checks of youth 20 prisoners in emergency cell confinement at specified 21 intervals; requiring each visual check to be 22 documented; providing for an individualized suicide 23 crisis intervention plan for certain youth prisoners, 24 if applicable; requiring youth prisoners to be 25 transported to a mental health receiving facility if 26 such prisoner’s suicide risk is not resolved within a 27 certain timeframe; requiring that youth prisoners in 28 emergency cell confinement be allotted services and 29 other benefits that are made available to prisoners in 30 the general prison population; providing for the 31 protection of youth prisoners in disciplinary cell 32 confinement; prohibiting youth prisoners from being 33 subjected to disciplinary cell confinement for longer 34 than a certain duration; requiring staff to perform 35 visual checks of youth prisoners in disciplinary cell 36 confinement at specified intervals; requiring each 37 visual check to be documented; requiring that youth 38 prisoners in disciplinary cells be allotted services 39 and other benefits that are made available to 40 prisoners in the general prison population; providing 41 reduced isolation for youth prisoners in protective 42 custody; requiring the department and the board of 43 county commissioners of each county that administers a 44 detention facility or jail to review their policies 45 relating to youth prisoners to evaluate whether the 46 policies are necessary; requiring the department and 47 the boards of county commissioners to certify 48 compliance in a report to the Governor and Legislature 49 by a specified date; requiring the department and the 50 boards of county commissioners to adopt policies and 51 procedures; providing construction; amending s. 52 944.09, F.S.; authorizing the department to adopt 53 rules; amending s. 951.23, F.S.; requiring sheriffs 54 and chief correctional officers to adopt model 55 standards relating to youth prisoners; reenacting s. 56 944.279(1), F.S., relating to disciplinary procedures 57 applicable to a prisoner for filing frivolous or 58 malicious actions or bringing false information before 59 a court, to incorporate the amendment made to s. 60 944.09, F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an 61 effective date. 62 63 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 64 65 Section 1. Section 958.155, Florida Statutes, is created to 66 read: 67 958.155 Youthful offenders in solitary confinement.— 68 (1) SHORT TITLE.—This section may be cited as the “Youth in 69 Solitary Confinement Reduction Act.” 70 (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term: 71 (a) “Disciplinary cell confinement” means a disciplinary 72 sanction for a major rule violation in which a youth who is 73 found guilty of committing such violation is confined to a cell 74 for a specified time. 75 (b) “Emergency cell confinement” means the confinement to a 76 cell of a youth who needs to be temporarily removed from the 77 general population of prisoners because he or she presents an 78 immediate, serious danger to the security or safety of himself 79 or herself or others. 80 (c) “Major rule violation” means an act that: 81 1. Is an act of violence which results in or is likely to 82 result in serious injury or death to another; 83 2. Occurs in connection with an act of nonconsensual sex; 84 3. Consists of two or more discrete acts that cause serious 85 disruption to the security or order of the detention center or 86 facility operations; or 87 4. Is an escape, attempted escape, or conspiracy to escape 88 from within a security perimeter or from custody or both. 89 (d) “Mental health clinician” means a psychiatrist, 90 psychologist, social worker, or nurse practitioner. 91 (e) “Prisoner” means a person incarcerated in a county or 92 regional jail or in a department facility who is accused of, 93 convicted of, or sentenced for a violation of criminal law or 94 the terms and conditions of parole, probation, pretrial release, 95 or a diversionary program. 96 (f) “Protective custody” means a status for a youth who 97 requires protection because he or she is in danger of being 98 victimized by other prisoners in the facility. The term includes 99 time spent under this status pending review of the youth’s 100 request for protection. 101 (g) “Solitary confinement” means involuntary confinement in 102 a cell in isolation for more than 20 hours a day. 103 (h) “Youth” means a person who is younger than 18 years of 104 age, or a person who is sentenced as a “youthful offender” by a 105 court or is classified as such by the department pursuant to 106 this chapter. 107 (3) PROTECTING YOUTH FROM SOLITARY CONFINEMENT.—A youth 108 prisoner who is held under the jurisdiction of the department or 109 a local governmental body in this state may not be placed in 110 solitary confinement, except as provided in this section. Cell 111 confinement of all youth prisoners is limited to the types and 112 parameters of confinement specified in this section. 113 (4) PROTECTING YOUTH HELD IN EMERGENCY CELL CONFINEMENT.— 114 (a) A youth prisoner may be placed in emergency cell 115 confinement for a period not to exceed 24 hours. 116 (b) A youth prisoner may not be placed in emergency cell 117 confinement unless all other less restrictive options have been 118 exhausted. Facility staff must document the placement of a youth 119 prisoner in emergency cell confinement and include the 120 justification for the placement and all the attempts for other 121 less restrictive options before the placement. 122 (c) A youth prisoner may be placed in emergency cell 123 confinement for the shortest time required to address the safety 124 risk and may not be held in such confinement if a mental health 125 clinician determines that the confinement is detrimental to the 126 youth’s mental or physical health. 127 (d) A youth prisoner who is placed in emergency cell 128 confinement must be evaluated face to face by a mental health 129 clinician within 1 hour after placement and at least every 4 130 hours thereafter to determine if the youth should remain in 131 emergency cell confinement. The mental health clinician shall 132 document each evaluation and shall include the reason for 133 continued placement in emergency cell confinement. 134 (e) During the time a youth prisoner is placed in emergency 135 cell confinement, the facility staff shall conduct visual checks 136 at least four times an hour and not longer than 15 minutes 137 apart. During the time a youth is awake, the staff shall speak 138 to the youth during the visual checks. After each visual check, 139 the staff shall document the status of the youth. 140 (f) Within 4 hours after placing a youth prisoner who has 141 exhibited suicidal behavior or committed acts of self-harm in 142 emergency cell confinement, a mental health clinician shall 143 implement an individualized suicide crisis intervention plan for 144 the youth prisoner and closely monitor the youth prisoner’s 145 condition in order to reduce or eliminate the risk of self-harm. 146 If the youth’s suicide risk is not resolved within 24 hours, the 147 youth must be moved to a mental health receiving facility. 148 (g) A youth prisoner who is placed in emergency cell 149 confinement shall be provided: 150 1. At least 1 hour of daily out-of-cell large-muscle 151 exercise that includes access to outdoor recreation when the 152 weather allows; and 153 2. Access to the same meals and drinking water, medical 154 treatment, contact with parents and legal guardians, and legal 155 assistance as provided to prisoners in the general population. 156 (5) PROTECTING YOUTH HELD IN DISCIPLINARY CELL 157 CONFINEMENT.— 158 (a) A youth prisoner may be placed in disciplinary cell 159 confinement by himself or herself for a period not to exceed 72 160 hours. 161 (b) During the time a youth prisoner is placed in 162 disciplinary cell confinement in a cell by himself or herself, 163 the facility staff shall conduct visual checks at least four 164 times an hour and not longer than 15 minutes apart. During the 165 time the youth is awake, the staff shall speak to the youth 166 during the visual checks. After each visual check, the staff 167 shall document the status of the youth. 168 (c) A youth prisoner who is placed in disciplinary cell 169 confinement shall be provided: 170 1. At least 2 hours of daily out-of-cell large-muscle 171 exercise that includes access to outdoor recreation when the 172 weather allows; 173 2. Daily showers; and 174 3. Access to the same meals and drinking water, clothing, 175 medical treatment, educational services, correspondence 176 privileges, contact with parents and legal guardians, and legal 177 assistance as provided to prisoners in the general population. 178 (6) REDUCING ISOLATION FOR YOUTH WHO REQUIRE PROTECTIVE 179 CUSTODY.—If a youth prisoner is placed in protective custody, 180 the restrictions to which the youth prisoner is subjected due to 181 such custody status must be the least restrictive to maintain 182 the safety of the youth prisoner and the facility. At a minimum, 183 such youth prisoner shall have access to: 184 (a) Educational and programming opportunities consistent 185 with the youth prisoner’s safety and security and any federal 186 and state law requirements; 187 (b) At least 5 hours a day of out-of-cell time, including a 188 minimum of 2 hours of daily out-of-cell large-muscle exercise 189 that includes access to outdoor recreation when the weather 190 allows; 191 (c) The same meals and drinking water, clothing, and 192 medical treatment as provided to prisoners in the general 193 population; 194 (d) Personal property, including televisions and radios, 195 and access to books, magazines, and other printed materials; 196 (e) Daily showers; 197 (f) The law library; and 198 (g) The same correspondence privileges and number of visits 199 and phone calls allowed to prisoners in the general population, 200 including, but not limited to, the same contact with parents and 201 legal guardians and the same legal assistance. 202 (7) IMPLEMENTATION.— 203 (a) The department and the board of county commissioners of 204 each county that administers a detention facility or jail shall 205 review their policies relating to youth prisoners in solitary 206 confinement or protective custody to determine if such policies 207 are necessary. The department and the board of county 208 commissioners of each county that administers a detention 209 facility or jail shall certify compliance with this section in a 210 report that the department and the commission shall submit to 211 the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of 212 the House of Representatives by January 1, 2020. The department 213 and the board of county commissioners of each such county shall 214 adopt policies and procedures necessary to administer this act. 215 (b) To the extent that this section conflicts with any 216 other provision of law relating to youth prisoners in this 217 state, the provisions that afford the greater or additional 218 protections to youth prisoners in this state shall prevail. 219 Section 2. Paragraph (s) is added to subsection (1) of 220 section 944.09, Florida Statutes, to read: 221 944.09 Rules of the department; offenders, probationers, 222 and parolees.— 223 (1) The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to 224 ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement its statutory authority. 225 The rules must include rules relating to: 226 (s) Disciplinary procedures and punishment for youth 227 prisoners in compliance with the Youth in Solitary Confinement 228 Reduction Act. 229 Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section 230 951.23, Florida Statutes, is amended to read: 231 951.23 County and municipal detention facilities; 232 definitions; administration; standards and requirements.— 233 (4) STANDARDS FOR SHERIFFS AND CHIEF CORRECTIONAL 234 OFFICERS.— 235 (a) There shall be established a five-member working group 236 consisting of three persons appointed by the Florida Sheriffs 237 Association and two persons appointed by the Florida Association 238 of Counties to develop model standards for county and municipal 239 detention facilities.
By October 1, 1996,Each sheriff and chief 240 correctional officer shall adopt, at a minimum, the model 241 standards with reference to: 242 1.a. The construction, equipping, maintenance, and 243 operation of county and municipal detention facilities. 244 b. The cleanliness and sanitation of county and municipal 245 detention facilities; the number of county and municipal 246 prisoners who may be housed therein per specified unit of floor 247 space; the quality, quantity, and supply of bedding furnished to 248 such prisoners; the quality, quantity, and diversity of food 249 served to them and the manner in which it is served; the 250 furnishing to them of medical attention and health and comfort 251 items; and the disciplinary treatment that whichmay be meted 252 out to them. 253 254 Notwithstanding the provisions of the otherwise applicable 255 building code, a reduced custody housing area may be occupied by 256 inmates or may be used for sleeping purposes as allowed in 257 subsection (7). The sheriff or chief correctional officer shall 258 provide that a reduced custody housing area shall be governed by 259 fire and life safety standards that whichdo not interfere with 260 the normal use of the facility and that whichaffect a 261 reasonable degree of compliance with rules of the State Fire 262 Marshal for correctional facilities. 263 2. The confinement of prisoners by classification and 264 providing, whenever possible, for classifications that which265 separate males from females, juveniles from adults, felons from 266 misdemeanants, and those awaiting trial from those convicted 267 and, in addition, providing for the separation of special risk 268 prisoners, such as the mentally ill, alcohol or narcotic 269 addicts, sex deviates, suicide risks, and any other 270 classification that whichthe local unit may deem necessary for 271 the safety of the prisoners and the operation of the facility 272 pursuant to degree of risk and danger criteria. Nondangerous 273 felons may be housed with misdemeanants. 274 3. The confinement of prisoners by classification and 275 providing for classifications that comply with the Youth in 276 Solitary Confinement Reduction Act. 277 Section 4. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment 278 made by this act to section 944.09, Florida Statutes, in a 279 reference thereto, subsection (1) of section 944.279, Florida 280 Statutes, is reenacted to read: 281 944.279 Disciplinary procedures applicable to prisoner for 282 filing frivolous or malicious actions or bringing false 283 information before court.— 284 (1) At any time, and upon its own motion or on motion of a 285 party, a court may conduct an inquiry into whether any action or 286 appeal brought by a prisoner was brought in good faith. A 287 prisoner who is found by a court to have brought a frivolous or 288 malicious suit, action, claim, proceeding, or appeal in any 289 court of this state or in any federal court, which is filed 290 after June 30, 1996, or to have brought a frivolous or malicious 291 collateral criminal proceeding, which is filed after September 292 30, 2004, or who knowingly or with reckless disregard for the 293 truth brought false information or evidence before the court, is 294 subject to disciplinary procedures pursuant to the rules of the 295 Department of Corrections. The court shall issue a written 296 finding and direct that a certified copy be forwarded to the 297 appropriate institution or facility for disciplinary procedures 298 pursuant to the rules of the department as provided in s. 299 944.09. 300 Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.