The Department of Corrections shall protect the financial interest of the state with respect to claims which the state may have against inmates in state institutions under its supervision and control and shall administer money and other property received for the personal benefit of such inmates. In carrying out the provisions of this section, the department may delegate any of its enumerated powers and duties affecting inmates of an institution to the warden or regional director who shall personally, or through designated employees of his or her personal staff under his or her direct supervision, exercise such powers or perform such duties. (1) The Department of Corrections may:
(a) Accept and administer as a trust any money or other property received for the personal use or benefit of any inmate.
(b) Deposit money so received in banks qualified as state depositories.
(c) Withdraw any such money and use it to meet the current needs of the inmate as they may exist from time to time.
(d) As trustee, invest in the manner authorized by law for fiduciaries such moneys not required to be used for current needs of the inmate.
(e) Commingle such moneys for the purpose of deposit or investment.
(f) Use interest earned from investments to replace any funds belonging to an inmate which have been stolen, lost, or otherwise misappropriated from the inmate’s trust account through no fault of the state and which cannot be replaced by appropriated funds, insurance payments, or other available resources. Such use of interest may be made only if, pursuant to a thorough investigation as part of the normal auditing process, the internal auditor of the department recommends in a written report that such use is appropriate. The report may also recommend other action, including prosecution, with respect to any missing funds. If the internal auditor of the department concludes that the department is at fault, the loss shall be replaced out of department funds; interest from the inmate trust fund may not be used to replace such loss.
(g) Establish, by rule, a limit on each inmate’s trust account, including the interest earned thereon, and deduct from any moneys in the inmate’s trust account exceeding that limit moneys sufficient to pay for the cost of postage of any mail sent by the inmate which postage the state is not constitutionally required to pay.
(h) Charge an administrative processing fee of up to $6 each month to inmates for banking services. Such fees shall be deposited into the department’s Grants and Donations Trust Fund and shall be used to offset the cost of the department’s operations. If the inmate account has a zero balance at the end of the billing cycle, a hold will be established to collect the processing fee when available.
(2) The department shall require documentation through an accounting of receipts for expenditures by inmates placed on extended limits of confinement pursuant to s. 945.091. However, the department may allow such inmates an amount up to $25 per week which may not require documentation and which may be used for discretionary needs. The $25 per week may be increased by $5 biennially, beginning in fiscal year 1985-1986, up to a total of $50.
(3) Moneys received by the department in payment of claims of the state against inmates shall be transmitted to the Chief Financial Officer for deposit into the General Revenue Fund.
(4) Upon the death of any inmate in an institution affected by the provisions of this section, any unclaimed money held for the inmate in trust by the department or by the Chief Financial Officer shall be applied first to the payment of any unpaid state claim against the inmate, and any balance remaining unclaimed for a period of 1 year shall escheat to the state as unclaimed funds held by fiduciaries.
(5) When an inmate is transferred between department facilities, is released from the custody of the department, dies, or escapes during incarceration, and the inmate has an unexpended inmate trust fund account balance of less than $1, that balance shall be transferred to the General Revenue Fund.