It is the intent of the Legislature that mentally ill inmates in the custody of the Department of Corrections receive evaluation and appropriate treatment for their mental illness through a continuum of services. It is further the intent of the Legislature that:
(1) Inmates in the custody of the department who have mental illnesses that require hospitalization and intensive psychiatric inpatient treatment or care receive appropriate treatment or care in Department of Corrections mental health treatment facilities designated for that purpose. The Department of Corrections shall provide mental health services to inmates committed to it and may contract with any entities, persons, or agencies qualified to provide such services.
(2) Mental health treatment facilities be secure and adequately equipped and staffed for the provision of mental health services and that, to the extent possible, such services be provided in the least restrictive manner consistent with optimum improvement of the inmate’s condition.
(3) Inmates who are transferred to any facility for the purpose of mental health treatment be given consideration for parole and be eligible for release by reason of gain-time allowances as provided in s. 944.291 and release by expiration of sentence, consistent with guidelines established for that purpose by the department.
(4) Any inmate sentenced as a youthful offender, or designated as a youthful offender by the department under chapter 958, who is transferred pursuant to this act to a mental health treatment facility be separated from other inmates, if necessary, as determined by the warden of the treatment facility.
(5) The department may designate mental health treatment facilities for adult, youthful, and female offenders or may contract with other appropriate entities, persons, or agencies for such services.