944.31 Inspector general; inspectors; power and duties.—The inspector general shall be responsible for prison inspection and investigation, internal affairs investigations, and management reviews. The office of the inspector general shall be charged with the duty of inspecting the penal and correctional systems of the state. The office of the inspector general shall inspect each correctional institution or any place in which state prisoners are housed, worked, or kept within the state, with reference to its physical conditions, cleanliness, sanitation, safety, and comfort; the quality and supply of all bedding; the quality, quantity, and diversity of food served and the manner in which it is served; the number and condition of the prisoners confined therein; and the general conditions of each institution. The office of inspector general shall see that all the rules and regulations issued by the department are strictly observed and followed by all persons connected with the correctional systems of the state. The office of the inspector general shall coordinate and supervise the work of inspectors throughout the state. The inspector general and inspectors may enter any place where prisoners in this state are kept and shall be immediately admitted to such place as they desire and may consult and confer with any prisoner privately and without molestation. The inspector general and inspectors shall be responsible for criminal and administrative investigation of matters relating to the Department of Corrections. The secretary may designate persons within the office of the inspector general as law enforcement officers to conduct any criminal investigation that occurs on property owned or leased by the department or involves matters over which the department has jurisdiction. A person designated as a law enforcement officer must be certified pursuant to s. 943.1395 and must have a minimum of 3 years’ experience as an inspector in the inspector general’s office or as a law enforcement officer. The department shall maintain a memorandum of understanding with the Department of Law Enforcement for the notification and investigation of mutually agreed-upon predicate events that shall include, but are not limited to, suspicious deaths and organized criminal activity. During investigations, the inspector general and inspectors may consult and confer with any prisoner or staff member privately and without molestation and persons designated as law enforcement officers under this section shall have the authority to arrest, with or without a warrant, any prisoner of or visitor to a state correctional institution for a violation of the criminal laws of the state involving an offense classified as a felony that occurs on property owned or leased by the department and may arrest offenders who have escaped or absconded from custody. Persons designated as law enforcement officers have the authority to arrest with or without a warrant a staff member of the department, including any contract employee, for a violation of the criminal laws of the state involving an offense classified as a felony under this chapter or chapter 893 on property owned or leased by the department. A person designated as a law enforcement officer under this section may make arrests of persons against whom arrest warrants have been issued, including arrests of offenders who have escaped or absconded from custody. The arrested person shall be surrendered without delay to the sheriff of the county in which the arrest is made, with a formal complaint subsequently made against her or him in accordance with law.
History.—s. 29, ch. 57-121; s. 6, ch. 61-192; s. 18, ch. 61-530; ss. 19, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 52, ch. 77-120; s. 62, ch. 79-3; s. 2, ch. 85-330; s. 75, ch. 87-226; s. 18, ch. 95-325; s. 26, ch. 96-312; s. 1856, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 99-271; s. 1, ch. 2002-75.