Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 542
       By Senator Farmer
       34-00613-21                                            2021542__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to inmate confinement; creating s.
    3         944.175, F.S.; defining terms; prohibiting the use of
    4         solitary confinement; prohibiting the use of
    5         restrictive confinement for noncompliance, punishment,
    6         harassment, or retaliation for an inmate’s conduct;
    7         authorizing an inmate to be placed in restrictive
    8         confinement only if certain conditions are met;
    9         providing restrictions and requirements for such
   10         confinement; prohibiting specified inmates from being
   11         placed in restrictive confinement; prohibiting youths,
   12         young adults, and inmates who have specified medical
   13         needs from being placed in restrictive confinement
   14         except under specified circumstances; requiring
   15         facilities to keep certain records regarding
   16         restrictive confinement; requiring the warden of the
   17         facility to review such records monthly; requiring the
   18         Department of Corrections to provide a specified
   19         report to the Department of Law Enforcement; providing
   20         that an inmate is entitled to a review of his or her
   21         placement in restrictive confinement within a
   22         specified timeframe by a specified review committee;
   23         amending s. 944.09, F.S.; requiring the department to
   24         adopt certain rules; amending s. 951.23, F.S.;
   25         requiring sheriffs and chief correctional officers to
   26         adopt model standards relating to confinement;
   27         amending s. 985.601, F.S.; requiring the Department of
   28         Juvenile Justice to adopt rules relating to
   29         restrictive confinement; reenacting s. 944.279(1),
   30         F.S., relating to disciplinary procedures applicable
   31         to a prisoner for filing frivolous or malicious
   32         actions or for bringing false information before a
   33         court, to incorporate the amendment made to s. 944.09,
   34         F.S., in a reference thereto; providing an effective
   35         date.
   37  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   39         Section 1. Section 944.175, Florida Statutes, is created to
   40  read:
   41         944.175 Restrictions on the use of confinement.—
   42         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   43         (a) “Exigent circumstances” means circumstances that pose
   44  an immediate and substantial threat to the safety of an inmate
   45  or a correctional staff member.
   46         (b) “Inmate” means a person in the custody of the
   47  department who is 18 years of age or older.
   48         (c) “Mental health professional” means a psychiatrist,
   49  psychologist, social worker, or nurse practitioner.
   50         (d) “Restrictive confinement” means the involuntary
   51  placement of an inmate in a cell alone, or with other inmates in
   52  substantial isolation, for more than 20 hours per day.
   53         (e) “Solitary confinement” means the involuntary placement
   54  of an inmate in a cell alone, or with other inmates in
   55  substantial isolation, for more than 22 hours per day.
   56         (f) “Young adult” means a person in the custody of the
   57  department who is 18 years of age or older but younger than 21
   58  years of age.
   59         (g) “Youth” means a person in the custody of the department
   60  who is younger than 18 years of age.
   62  inmate may not be placed in solitary confinement.
   64  inmate may not be placed in restrictive confinement except under
   65  exigent circumstances, if such placement will significantly
   66  reduce the safety threat that the exigent circumstances create.
   67  An inmate may not be confined for any period of time to an
   68  individual cell as a consequence for noncompliance, as
   69  punishment or harassment, or in retaliation for an inmate’s
   70  conduct. If exigent circumstances exist and the inmate is placed
   71  in restrictive confinement, the inmate:
   72         (a) May not be housed in restrictive confinement for more
   73  than 15 consecutive days;
   74         (b) May not be housed in restrictive confinement for more
   75  than 20 days within a 60-day period;
   76         (c) May be housed in restrictive confinement only until the
   77  substantial threat to the safety of an inmate or a correctional
   78  staff member has ended and must be under the least restrictive
   79  conditions practicable in relation to the exigent circumstances
   80  necessitating the use of restrictive confinement. The
   81  confinement must include at least 4 hours of out-of-cell time
   82  every day;
   83         (d) Must be allowed to participate in meaningful
   84  programming opportunities and privileges that are consistent
   85  with those available to the general inmate population, as
   86  practicable. The programming opportunities and privileges may
   87  take place individually or in a classroom setting;
   88         (e) Must be allowed to have as much meaningful interaction
   89  with others, such as other inmates, visitors, clergy, and
   90  licensed mental health professionals, as practicable; and
   91         (f) Must be evaluated by a licensed mental health
   92  professional at least once every 24 hours to determine whether
   93  the inmate should remain in restrictive confinement or be
   94  removed from restrictive confinement to prevent a serious risk
   95  of harm to the inmate. The licensed mental health professional
   96  who conducts the mental health evaluation shall document each
   97  evaluation. The documented evaluation must be placed in the
   98  inmate’s records. If the licensed mental health professional
   99  determines that continued housing in restrictive confinement
  100  poses a serious risk of harm to the inmate, the inmate must be
  101  removed from restrictive confinement within 24 hours after such
  102  determination.
  104  PROHIBITED.—An inmate may not be placed in restrictive
  105  confinement solely on the basis of the inmate’s identification
  106  or status as a member of a vulnerable population, including an
  107  inmate who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or
  108  gender nonconforming.
  109         (5) YOUTHS AND YOUNG ADULTS.—
  110         (a) A youth or young adult may not be placed in restrictive
  111  confinement unless:
  112         1.The youth’s or young adult’s behavior poses a serious
  113  and immediate threat and such confinement is a necessary and
  114  temporary response to the behavior;
  115         2. All other options to deescalate the situation resulting
  116  from the youth’s or young adult’s behavior have been exhausted,
  117  including less restrictive techniques such as penalizing the
  118  youth or young adult through loss of privileges, speaking with
  119  the youth or young adult in an attempt to resolve the situation,
  120  and having a licensed mental health professional provide an
  121  appropriate level of care; and
  122         3. If the youth or young adult poses a substantial and
  123  immediate threat to others, such confinement extends only to the
  124  time necessary for the youth or young adult to regain self
  125  control. The confinement may not exceed 3 hours. Within 1 hour
  126  after such placement, a licensed mental health professional
  127  shall make a determination approving or disapproving the holding
  128  of the youth or young adult past the initial hour of
  129  confinement. The licensed mental health professional shall make
  130  such determination every hour thereafter in order to continue
  131  the confinement.
  132         (b)If the youth or young adult continues to pose a
  133  substantial and immediate threat after the applicable maximum
  134  period of confinement specified under subparagraph (a)3. has
  135  expired, the youth or young adult must be transferred to another
  136  facility or to an internal location where crisis services may be
  137  provided to the youth or young adult. If a licensed mental
  138  health professional believes the level of crisis services needed
  139  is not available onsite, a facility staff member must initiate a
  140  referral to a location that can provide the services required to
  141  meet the youth or young adult’s needs.
  142         (6) INMATES WITH MEDICAL NEEDS.—An inmate who has a serious
  143  mental illness, has an intellectual disability, has a physical
  144  disability that a licensed medical health professional
  145  determines is likely to be exacerbated by placement in
  146  restrictive confinement, is pregnant or in the first 8 weeks of
  147  postpartum recovery, or has been determined by a licensed mental
  148  health professional to likely be significantly and adversely
  149  affected by placement in restrictive confinement may not be
  150  placed in restrictive confinement unless all of the following
  151  apply:
  152         (a) The inmate poses a substantial and immediate threat.
  153         (b) All other options to deescalate the situation resulting
  154  from the inmate’s behavior have been exhausted, including less
  155  restrictive techniques such as penalizing the inmate through
  156  loss of privileges, speaking with the inmate in an attempt to
  157  resolve the situation, and having a licensed mental health
  158  professional provide an appropriate level of care.
  159         (c) Such confinement extends only until the substantial and
  160  immediate threat has ended and is limited to the least
  161  restrictive conditions practicable. The inmate must have access
  162  to medical care and mental health treatment during such
  163  confinement.
  164         (d) Such confinement is reviewed by a multidisciplinary
  165  staff committee for appropriateness every 24 hours after such
  166  confinement begins.
  167         (e) As soon as practicable, but within at least 5 days
  168  after such confinement begins, the inmate is diverted, upon
  169  release from restrictive confinement, to a general population
  170  unit or a mental health treatment program.
  171         (7) REPORTING.—The facility must keep a record of each time
  172  restrictive confinement is used under subsections (5) and (6).
  173  The warden of the facility shall review such records each month,
  174  and the department shall provide a report based on the warden’s
  175  review to the Department of Law Enforcement each month.
  176         (8)REVIEW.An inmate who is placed in restrictive
  177  confinement is entitled to a review of his or her initial
  178  placement and any extension of restrictive confinement within 72
  179  hours after first being placed in restrictive confinement. The
  180  review must be conducted by a multidisciplinary staff committee
  181  consisting of at least one of each of the following:
  182         (a) A licensed mental health professional.
  183         (b) A licensed medical professional.
  184         (c) A member of the leadership of the facility.
  185         Section 2. Paragraph (s) is added to subsection (1) of
  186  section 944.09, Florida Statutes, to read:
  187         944.09 Rules of the department; offenders, probationers,
  188  and parolees.—
  189         (1) The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to
  190  ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement its statutory authority.
  191  The rules must include rules relating to:
  192         (s) Inmate confinement which are compliant with s. 944.175.
  193         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (4) of section
  194  951.23, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  195         951.23 County and municipal detention facilities;
  196  definitions; administration; standards and requirements.—
  198  OFFICERS.—
  199         (a) There shall be established A five-member working group
  200  is established which consists consisting of three persons
  201  appointed by the Florida Sheriffs Association and two persons
  202  appointed by the Florida Association of Counties to develop
  203  model standards for county and municipal detention facilities.
  204  At a minimum By October 1, 1996, each sheriff and chief
  205  correctional officer shall adopt, at a minimum, the model
  206  standards with reference to:
  207         1.a. The construction, equipping, maintenance, and
  208  operation of county and municipal detention facilities.
  209         b. The cleanliness and sanitation of county and municipal
  210  detention facilities; the number of county and municipal
  211  prisoners who may be housed therein per specified unit of floor
  212  space; the quality, quantity, and supply of bedding furnished to
  213  such prisoners; the quality, quantity, and diversity of food
  214  served to them and the manner in which it is served; the
  215  furnishing to them of medical attention and health and comfort
  216  items; and the disciplinary treatment that which may be meted
  217  out to them.
  219  Notwithstanding the provisions of the otherwise applicable
  220  building code, a reduced custody housing area may be occupied by
  221  inmates or may be used for sleeping purposes as allowed in
  222  subsection (7). The sheriff or chief correctional officer shall
  223  provide that a reduced custody housing area shall be governed by
  224  fire and life safety standards which do not interfere with the
  225  normal use of the facility and which affect a reasonable degree
  226  of compliance with rules of the State Fire Marshal for
  227  correctional facilities.
  228         2. The confinement of prisoners by classification and
  229  providing, whenever possible, for classifications that which
  230  separate males from females, juveniles from adults, felons from
  231  misdemeanants, and those awaiting trial from those convicted
  232  and, in addition, providing for the separation of special risk
  233  prisoners, such as the mentally ill, alcohol or narcotic
  234  addicts, sex deviates, suicide risks, and any other
  235  classification which the local unit may deem necessary for the
  236  safety of the prisoners and the operation of the facility
  237  pursuant to degree of risk and danger criteria. Nondangerous
  238  felons may be housed with misdemeanants.
  239         3. The confinement of prisoners, in compliance with s.
  240  944.175.
  241         Section 4. Paragraph (b) of subsection (9) of section
  242  985.601, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
  243         985.601 Administering the juvenile justice continuum.—
  244         (9)
  245         (b) The department shall adopt rules prescribing standards
  246  and requirements with reference to:
  247         1. The construction, equipping, maintenance, staffing,
  248  programming, and operation of detention facilities;
  249         2. The treatment, training, and education of children
  250  confined in detention facilities;
  251         3. The cleanliness and sanitation of detention facilities;
  252         4. The number of children who may be housed in detention
  253  facilities per specified unit of floor space;
  254         5. The quality, quantity, and supply of bedding furnished
  255  to children housed in detention facilities;
  256         6. The quality, quantity, and diversity of food served in
  257  detention facilities and the manner in which it is served;
  258         7. The furnishing of medical attention and health and
  259  comfort items in detention facilities; and
  260         8. The disciplinary treatment administered in detention
  261  facilities; and
  262         9. The use of restrictive confinement for prisoners, in
  263  compliance with s. 944.175.
  264         Section 5. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  265  made by this act to section 944.09, Florida Statutes, in a
  266  reference thereto, subsection (1) of section 944.279, Florida
  267  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  268         944.279 Disciplinary procedures applicable to prisoner for
  269  filing frivolous or malicious actions or bringing false
  270  information before court.—
  271         (1) At any time, and upon its own motion or on motion of a
  272  party, a court may conduct an inquiry into whether any action or
  273  appeal brought by a prisoner was brought in good faith. A
  274  prisoner who is found by a court to have brought a frivolous or
  275  malicious suit, action, claim, proceeding, or appeal in any
  276  court of this state or in any federal court, which is filed
  277  after June 30, 1996, or to have brought a frivolous or malicious
  278  collateral criminal proceeding, which is filed after September
  279  30, 2004, or who knowingly or with reckless disregard for the
  280  truth brought false information or evidence before the court, is
  281  subject to disciplinary procedures pursuant to the rules of the
  282  Department of Corrections. The court shall issue a written
  283  finding and direct that a certified copy be forwarded to the
  284  appropriate institution or facility for disciplinary procedures
  285  pursuant to the rules of the department as provided in s.
  286  944.09.
  287         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.