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means any person who is appointed or employed full
time by the state or any political subdivision thereof, or by any private
entity which has contracted with the state or county, and whose primary
responsibility is the supervision, protection, care, custody, and control,
or investigation, of inmates within a correctional institution; however,
the term "correctional officer" does not include any secretarial, clerical, or professionally trained personnel.
Florida Administrative Code (FAC).
In addition to the Florida Statutes (F.S.), other legal mandates concerning this profession are found in rules enforced through
the Florida Statutes and the Florida Model Jail Standards (FMJS).
county correctional officers and facilities are governed by
correctional officers are considered professionals in their field and much is expected as they provide
care, custody and control of inmates
Some of the
personal characteristics supervisors look for in new officers include those who are able to:
• work alone with little or no supervision
• perform tasks without letting distractions interfere
• independently make decisions and stand by decisions made
• learn new techniques and procedures
• adapt to change without incurring undue stress
• be attentive to their environment
• be responsible for actions taken as well as the consequences of inacti
The Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission was created to
the certification, employment, training, and conduct of Florida law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers
The Commission meets quarterly and has as its purpose
"to ensure that the citizens of the state of Florida are served by
the most qualified, well-trained, competent and ethical criminal justice officers in the
Florida Statute §943.12 explains the Commission's duties as follows:
• establish uniform minimum standards for the employment and training of full-time, part-time,
and auxiliary law enforcement, correctional, and correctional probation officers
• establish and maintain officer training programs, curricula requirements, and certification of
training schools and training school instructors
• certify officers who complete a Florida Basic Recruit Training Program or who are diversely
qualified through experience and training and who meet minimum employment standards
• review and administer appropriate administrative sanctions in instances when an officer,
instructor, or training school is found to be in violation of Florida Statutes and Commission
• promulgate rules and procedures to administer the requirements of §943.085-943.255, F.S.
• conduct studies of compensation, education, and training for correctional, correctional
probation, and law enforcement disciplines
• maintain a central repository of records of all certified criminal justice officers
• develop, maintain, and administer the State Officer Certification Examination for criminal justice officers
The Criminal Justice Professionalism Program (CJPP)
is statutorily created within the Florida Department
of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to support and assist the Commission in the execution, administration,
implementation, and evaluation of its powers, duties, and functions. The CJPP manages the administrative
functions involved in the certification and decertification of criminal justice officers in Florida. The CJPP
writes and keeps up to date each of the basic and post-basic training courses that certified officers receive in
Florida. The program also maintains the automated training system for all officer records.
F.S. §943.13 sets the minimum requirements and standards that persons must meet before becoming
certified as officers. An officer must:
• be at least 19 years of age
• be a citizen of the United States
• be a high school graduate or its equivalent
• not have been convicted of any felony or misdemeanor which involves perjury or a false
statement, regardless of withholding of adjudication or suspended sentence
• not have received a dishonorable discharge from any of the Armed Forces of the United States
• have processed fingerprints on file with the employing agency
by the Commission
• have a good moral character, as determined by a background investigation under procedures
established by the Commission
• submit an affidavit attesting to compliance (a signed document agreeing to abide by all
• satisfactorily complete a Commission-approved course of basic recruit training
• satisfactorily pass a state examination in the respective specialty
A recruit has four years from the starting date of the basic recruit training to complete the certification
process. In order to become certified as a correctional officer, a person must do all of the following:
• meet all the minimum requirements and standards
• complete the approved basic recruit training
• pass the State Officer Certification Examination
• become actively employed with a correctional facility in an auxiliary, a part-time, or a full-time officer position
Upon completion of a basic recruit training program, an individual must
pass the State Officer
Certification Examination (SOCE) to become certified as a correctional officer. An applicant must pass the SOCE within three attempts
When a recruit is being hired by a correctional facility, the agency will conduct a thorough
background investigation to determine his or her moral character prior to employment with the
agency. If a recruit has entered the academy prior to employment, the recruit is subject to the same
moral character requirements as active certified officers and may be denied certification by the
Commission if evidence indicates noncompliance with these standards.
the Commission has the authority to impose
discipline on an officer's certification if the officer fails to maintain the required standards of conduct.
The Commission may take action against an officer's certification if the officer does the
• pleads nolo contendere, pleads guilty, or is found guilty of any felony
• pleads nolo contendere, pleads guilty, or is found guilty of a misdemeanor
involving perjury or false statement
• fails to maintain good moral character as defined by the Florida Statutes and
Florida Administrative Code (CJSTC Rule 11B-27, FAC)
• commits any act constituting a felony offense, regardless of criminal
• tests positive for controlled substances by a urine or blood test, in accordance
with the requirements for testing reliability and integrity set forth in Rule 11B-
• is found guilty of excessive use of force under color of authority under Rule
• engages in sexual harassment involving physical contact or misuse of official
• misuses the official position, as defined by §112.313(6), F.S.
• engages in sex while on duty
• has unprofessional relationships with an inmate, detainee, probationer,
parolee, or community controlee; has written or oral communication that
is intended to facilitate conduct which is prohibited by Commission rule;
engages in any physical contact not required in the performance of official
duties that is normally associated with the demonstration of affection or sexual
misconduct as defined in section F.S. §944.35(3)
• makes false statements during the employment process
• commits conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert the state officer
certification examination process in accordance with rule 11B-30.009(3), FAC
• commits conduct that subverts or attempts to subvert the CJSTCapproved
training examination process or an employing agency's promotional
examination process in accordance with, but not limited to, acts described in
rule 11B-27.0011(4)(c)9, FAC
The Commission may impose discipline on an officer's certification in keeping with an
established set of penalty guidelines that may be required during the officer discipline
process. The penalties include
written reprimand, probation, suspension, or revocation
When the Commission revokes an officer's certification in accordance
with F.S. §943.1395(6), the officer can no longer work as a certified correctional officer
in the state of Florida.
Values are principles, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable
They are core beliefs or desires that guide or motivate a person's attitude and
are what people care about and what they think is important. Values
determine how people behave in certain situations.
A variety of influences shape an
individual's values including
attitudes about work, respect, and responsibility
is defined as the principles of honor, morality, and accepted rules of conduct
that direct an individual or group.
Officers must always act
within the boundaries of their authority and
uphold the recognized standards of their profession's code of ethics.
The American Correctional Association expects of its members
unfailing honesty, respect for the dignity and individuality of human beings and a
commitment to professional and compassionate service
is behavior that demonstrates good character and is marked by pride
in self and career
Professionalism requires that
an officer respect
the people he or she serves and maintain a personal commitment to the continued
development of his or her skills in the pursuit of excellence.
An officer should be
dependable, strive at all times to work
efficiently and consistently, and fulfill his or her obligations
The officer must remain
levelheaded in stressful situations, react appropriately, and gather as much information
as possible to make the best decisions.
Following a chain of command facilitates
confusion, and enhances the efficiency of the organization.
is a group of two or more people who cooperate to accomplish an
objective or multiple objectives.
correctional agencies, this rank structure might be as follows:
• Sheriff or Warden
• Undersheriff or Assistant Warden
• Colonels or Chief of Security
• Deputies or Officers
refers to the structure, functions, and decision-making processes of those
agencies that deal with the management and control of crime and criminal offenders.
The three main components of the criminal justice system include
law enforcement, the
court system, and corrections.
Corrections is the part of the system responsible for
enforcing penalties as defined by
the court system and for the care, custody and control of inmates and pretrial detainees
Prisons (federal and state)
Prisons are correctional institutions maintained by federal or
state governments for the confinement of convicted felons.
County jails are used for in-processing and temporary detention of
defendants awaiting trial or disposition on federal or state charges and of convicted
offenders sentenced to short-term detention (a year or less). County jails may also hold
convicted felons returned from prison for court appearances.
Treatment and Evaluation Centers:
These facilities are designed to meet the special needs
of particular offenders. Treatment centers deal with alcohol/drug abusers or mentally ill
offenders. In addition to general processing procedures, various testing (e.g., medical,
mental, educational aptitude) is performed at these facilities.
CO1-2.1.1 Outline the
role of the correctional
CO1-2.1.2 List the major
components of the Criminal
CO1-2.1.3 Explain the
function of the corrections
the components of the
Probation, Parole, and Community Control:
Probation, parole, and community control
are part of a community-based correctional system. Its purpose is to supervise the
enforcement of specific restrictions on individuals who have received an alternative to incarceration.
is a court-ordered sentence that places a person under the
supervision of a probation officer under specified court ordered terms and
conditions as an alternative to or supervision after incarceration.
is the release of an inmate from a correctional institution prior to the
conclusion of the inmate's court-imposed sentence.
Community control (house arrest)
is a form of community supervision that is
closely monitored and is more restrictive than probation or parole.
Juvenile Assessment/Detention Center:
Juvenile suspects are taken to a center for
processing and possible pretrial detention.
The First Amendment
protects freedom of speech, the press, and religion, and
the right to peacefully assemble.
In a correctional setting the First Amendment is limited to
access to religious practice and the press
In a correctional setting The Fourth Amendment
in a correctional setting there is a diminished expectation of privacy
and there is no general requirement for a search warrant.
The Sixth Amendment
guarantees the right to a speedy and public trial, to
counsel, to an impartial jury, to be informed of the nature of the charges, and
to confront witnesses
In a correctional setting The Eighth Amendment
This amendment plays a critical role in the care, custody
and control of inmate populations. Excessive use of force or withholding meals
are examples of rights violations prohibited under this amendment
may be defined as governmental intrusion into a place where a person has a
reasonable expectation of privacy.
In a correctional setting a search occurs as
to seek out and discover evidence and contraband in the possession of an inmate.
is a fair probability or reasonable grounds to believe
that a crime was committed, based on the totality of the circumstances.
may be defined as the act of taking possession of contraband or evidence
for a violation of rule or law.
Inmates have a diminished expectation of privacy in a
correctional setting due to
the compelling interest to maintain order in the correctional
When evidence or contraband is found during a search in a correctional setting,
the correctional officer has the duty to seize the item.
Safety and security needs of a correctional facility include
searching people entering a
visitors have the right to refuse a search
may result in denial or termination of current or future visits.
warnings provide the protections of the Fifth Amendment right against selfincrimination
when a suspect in custody is interrogated in a criminal investigation.
Inmates retain certain rights Some rights retained include
freedom from excessive punishments; access to courts; legal
counsel including help from other inmates in preparation of writs, petitions and other
legal papers; and access to an adequate law library.
Inmates have the right to
expression; freedom from overcrowded conditions, freedom from unreasonable search
and seizure; and freedom to worship and exercise religious beliefs. inmates have
the right to exercise and fresh air, adequate medical treatment, the ability to send and
receive mail, including correspondence with the courts; and food that meets minimum
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
was established to
standardize health records in the U.S.
Within this act The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
privacy standards were developed
to make it a violation to knowingly disclose protected health information.
employed by a "covered entity," including correctional officers and staff, who knowingly
violate HIPAA provisions may
be fined, imprisoned, or administratively disciplined.
HIPAA, 45 C.F.R. §164, F.S.
As a covered entity, a correctional institution must reasonably safeguard protected
health information to limit incidental uses or disclosures made pursuant to an otherwise
permitted or required use or disclosure in accordance with
The correctional officer must remember that inmate health information should remain
confidential and may be shared only with
individuals that have a need and right to kno
The Baker Act,
also known as the Florida Mental Health Act, provides for emergency
services and temporary detention for evaluation and voluntary or involuntary short-term
community inpatient treatment, if necessary. See §394.455(18), F.S.
The Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA, P.L. 108-79)
was enacted by Congress
to address the problem of sexual abuse of persons in the custody of U.S. federal, state or
local correctional agencies.
of PREA is to
make rape prevention and awareness in a correctional setting a top priority. There is a zero-tolerance standard for the incidence of rape in U.S. prisons
Officers should treat all allegations of prison rape
seriously and take appropriate action
when a complaint is made.
is defined as any unauthorized article or any authorized article in
excessive quantities or altered from its intended purpose
Items identified as contraband in correctional facilities by §944.47 and §951.22, F.S.,
include currency or coins, tobacco products, controlled substances, non-prescribed
drugs of any kind or nature, articles of food or clothing altered or in excessive quantity,
firearms or dangerous weapons, cell phones or portable communication devices, or any
items used to aid or affect an escape
The purpose of limiting items in a
correctional facility is to
maintain internal order, security, and discipline
Florida Statutes §951.22
provides authority to county facilities in accordance with the
Florida Model Jail Standards to establish policies and procedures relating to contraband.
The introduction of contraband
is a crime punishable by F.S. §944.47 that designates the
introduction, taking, or sending of articles defined as contraband into a correctional
facility as a felony offense. The attempted introduction of contraband is also punishable
under this statute.
F.S., and §932.7055, F.S
Confiscated contraband may be destroyed, converted, or reused pursuant to
Depending on agency policy or procedures, contraband may
be destroyed by
flushing, incinerating, or compacting
items will be only
non-consumable items issued by the facility that may be returned to
Contraband may also be designated as evidence and require
holding for use in a
disciplinary hearing or criminal case.
criminal offense punishable under the laws of this state by death or imprisonment in
a state facility for a period exceeding one year.
is any criminal offense
punishable under the laws of this state by a term of imprisonment for less than one year
in a county correctional facility.
It is possible for an inmate to spend an extended term
of more than one year in a county facility if he or she
receives consecutive sentences for
Officers have the responsibility to protect
staff, and visitors from harm and violations.
Though the correctional officer does not
determine a criminal charge, he or she must be able to
determine when a crime has
been committed, and distinguish a crime from a rule violation.
Some crimes committed in a correctional setting may include
petty theft, dealing in
stolen property, assault, battery, sexual battery, battery on a facility employee, drugrelated
crimes, criminal mischief, arson, possession of contraband, introduction of
contraband into a correctional facility, escape, lewd and lascivious behavior, bribery,
security threat group (STG)-related crimes, gambling, vandalism, loan sharking, or
Examples of staff and visitor criminal acts may include
introduction of contraband,
sexual misconduct, and bribery.
There are two basic elements of a crime:
proof that a crime has been committed,
and proof the person being charged committed the crime.
to prove that a
crime has been committed it must be shown that
an act is specifically prohibited by a
It also must be shown that the person committing the act at the time
knowingly or intentionally
Instrumentalities may take varied forms
body fluids, a homemade weapon, cell phone,
threatening letter, or recorded phone call. Often these items may become evidence.
Five types of evidence characteristically found in a correctional setting are
direct, circumstantial or
indirect, physical, testimonial, and documentary.
directly proves a fact without inference or assumption. For example an officer
observes a stabbing; or DNA samples connect a suspect to a crime.
Circumstantial or indirect evidence
is based on an inference not on personal knowledge
through observation and is presumed to be true.
is printed or written evidence such as a call out log, written property
receipt, letter, or recording.
chain of custody
is documentation of every individual who handled evidence as well as when, why, and what changes, if any, were made to it
Chain of custody documentation is also issued
to prove that
the evidence submitted in court or at a disciplinary hearing is the same evidence that was collected at the crime scene.
The responding officer must take steps to preserve the chain of custody to
protect the integrity of the evidence.
Items must be documented even if
what is collected does not immediately appear to be relevant to the incident.
clear and complete for understanding and testimony by another officer or individual
of the chain of custody for documentation or preservation are:
Who—parties involved, What—all materials used and secured, When—date and time the incident occurred and any time the evidence was handled thereafter • Where—location where the evidence was collected, transferred to, or stored • Why—reason the evidence or material was handled • How—proper methods for preservation; how evidence is collected is crucial to verifying its integrity and thus its usability in trial or hearing
may be defined as the type and amount of force that the officer
reasonably believes to be necessary to overcome resistance
Reasonable force is based on
the totality of circumstances and the perception at the time of the event as to what force is reasonably required.
In Graham v. Conner, 490 US 386 (1989), the U.S. Supreme Court held that all
law enforcement use of force cases are to be judged by
an objective reasonableness standard based upon the Fourth Amendment.
The use of force is to be judged from
the perspective of what
a reasonable officer would do under the same circumstances
without the benefit of hindsight
The objective reasonableness test requires the officer to answer two questions about the
level of force used in any situation:
was the action reasonable and necessary, and was the amount of force applied reasonable and necessary?
U.S. Supreme Court case Hudson v. McMillan 503 US 1 (1992) established that
intent determines reasonableness in use of force situations in correctional settings.
Defense of self or others could include
the use of reasonably necessary physical force up to and including deadly force.
An employee of the department is authorized to apply physical force upon an inmate only when and to the extent that it reasonably appears necessary
Florida law provides for correctional officers to use reasonable force including deadly force to prevent
the escape of inmates
Florida Statute §776.07(2),
states that "A correctional officer or other law enforcement
officer is justified in the use of force, including deadly force, which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary to prevent the escape from a penal institution of a person whom the officer reasonably believes to be lawfully detained in such institution under sentence for an offense or awaiting trial or commitment for an offense"
if force used is deemed to be
excessive, the officer may face
criminal, civil, and administrative penalties
charges may be brought at both the state and federal level depending on the violation
Criminal, civil, and civil rights
Liabilities- administrative liabilities
Penalties- sanctions imposed by the employing agency and CJSTC
Excessive use of force may also result in
negative community reaction and loss of trust in the profession
All use of force must be documented in a
timely, clear manner, pursuant to agency policy or procedure and statute
If an officer uses, witnesses or has reason to believe force
was used he or she must
report the incident
Correctional officers may be liable for damages or injuries if they
improperly perform a job task or do not perform a job task that an officer reasonably should perform
is responsibility for a wrongful act or the failure to do an act that
an officer has a duty to perform that injures another person or property and most often involves negligence
A civil wrong in which the action or inaction of an officer or entity violates the rights of another person
is failure to use due or reasonable care, in a situation where an
officer has a duty to act, that results in harm to another
To convict a defendant of a crime, the state must
prove in criminal court that he or she committed all elements of a particular offense.
In a civil action, the plaintiff/
victim must prove
a different set of elements to find the defendant/offender negligent
The elements of negligence are
(1) a duty to act with care, (2) breach of that duty, (3) proof that the breach of duty caused damages and (4) actual damages.
An officer has a duty to provide
care, custody and control of inmates while on the job to the best of his or her ability.
He or she should be paid for the actual loss (e.g., lost wages,
medical expenses, property damage, attorney's fees, pain and suffering or mental
Punitive damages may be awarded in addition to compensation to
punish a defendant who acted with recklessness, malice or deceit and to discourage others from committing the same act.
A civil rights violation
is an unlawful interference with the fundamental rights of another person, such as the right to due process and equal protection under the law
Federal law, 18 U.S.C. §242
prohibits an officer acting under color of law from violating an inmate's civil rights.
color of law
When an officer acts or purports to act in the performance of official duties under any law, ordinance, or regulation, he or she is acting under
Chapter 111, F.S.,
protects officers charged with civil and criminal actions, provided those actions occurred within the scope and course of the officer's employment
Acting within the scope of employment
refers to the range of reasonable and foreseeable activities that an officer does while carrying out the agency's business
sovereign immunity law §768.28, F.S.,
provides one of the most important protections for state and
county (governmental) correctional agencies and their employees. It includes a list of circumstances and requirements that must be met before the agency or any of its employees can be sued in a state tort action. It also protects individual officers and agency employees from personal liability and from being named as a defendant in a state civil lawsuit.