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Florida Seeks to Create Administrative Management Units in State Prison System

While most state agencies are scrambling to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) is taking the opportunity to capitalize on the chaos by pushing through new, fucked up rules about how they are allowed to treat incarcerated people. During the same week that fdoc saw its first COVID related prisoner death, department heads quietly released their plan to create administrative segregation units in order to house anybody who fits their description of a bad egg or security threat. This new classification can include anyone who has ever participated in a strike, disturbance, mutinous or riotous act, or voices criticism of the criminalization and punishment system. It could also include people with ties to community organizations (or gangs) or who practice other forms of mutual aid inside. It also applies to anyone who has used drugs or come into contact with certain contraband items. In fact, it is so vague it could easily be applied to anyone.

The proposal was posted on April 10th and the public has til May 1st to object to it and demand a hearing on the subject. Below is more info about the rule proposal and how to object. Objections can be printed and mailed to the florida department of corrections headquarters in tallahassee or emailed to [email protected]

More info about the proposed ad seg units from an inside comrade:

Administrative Management Units: By Melvin Pérez

On April 10, 2020, the Florida Department of Corrections proposed Rule 33-601.260 Administrative Management Units. This is something like Close Management (CM) but for general population. Under the proposal the following things can land you at this unit:

  1. A documented history of disciplinary action or institutional maladjustment reflecting an inmate’s inability to live in the general inmate population without disrupting the operation of the institution
  2. Participation in a predatory or aggressive act against another person using force or intimidation
  3. Two or more disciplinary reports for possession of unauthorized drugs or testing positive for drugs
  4. Possession of negotiables, escape paraphernalia, or other items that present a threat to the safe and secure operation of an institution
  5. Participation in a riot, strike, mutinous act, or disturbance
  6. Release from CM followed by 2 or more negative transfers within a 2 yr period following release
  7. Placement in disciplinary confinement for a cumulative total that is equal to or greater than 180 days during any 36 month period
  8. Two or more negative transfers within a 1 yr period
  9. Participation in any documented Security Threat Group related activity that causes disruption in the operation of an institution
  10. Documented leadership of an Security Threat Group and participation in any documented Security Threat Group related activity.

The proposed rule defines Security Threat Group (STG) as a formal or informal ongoing inmate or offender group, gang, organization, or association consisting of 3 or more members who have:

  1. A common name or common identifying signs, colors, or symbols
  2. Members or associates who individually or collectively engage in a pattern of gang activity, criminal activity, or Department rule violations or
  3. The potential to act in concert to pose a threat or potential threat to the public, staff, visitors, other inmates or offenders, or the secure and orderly operations of an institution, probation office, other Department property, or Department activity or function.

As seen, the Rule proposal is very general. Under this definition any 2 or more people working or supporting any effort against FDOC is considered an STG group. Even while the activities might be Constitutionally permissible under both U.S. and Florida Constitutions.

Here is a link to the proposed new rule that was posted on 4/10/2020 on FDOC website, the public has until May 1st to object and demand a public hearing: https://www.flrules.org/gateway/RuleNo.asp?ID=33-601.260

HOW TO OBJECT AND WHO TO SEND IT TO

The objection must be mailed to:

Office of General Counsel

Florida Dept of Corrections

501 South Calhoun St.

Tallahassee FL 32399

———————————————————————————————————————

First Sample Objection:

OBJECTIONS TO PROPOSAL 33-601.260 ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT UNITS.

I am filing this objection according to the provisions of Florida Statutes Chapter 120. My objections are as follows:

  1. I object to the rule proposal because it fails to implement any law allowing this extreme change of status.
  2. Likewise, I object to this rule because this rule violates Chapter 120 because it is too general, and can lead to abuse of power. For example, the prisoner has already been punished for the DRS, but now since they would not qualify for Close Management they can be placed in this unit.
  3. On the other hand, for a prisoner that got off Close Management, this would place him in a more punitive institution because of his past history. So the prisoner would have to serve DR time, Close Management time, then go to this unit.
  4. I also object because this proposed rule fails to set guidelines and its failure violates CH 120.

For instance, how about a prisoner who might have been a gang member or leader, but years later found God and changed his life or is no longer part of the gang but the database still has him or her listed as active, should he still be sent to the unit? Or the case of a prisoner who is placed in the gang database because he or she wrote a grievance or lawsuit and in reprisal the officer documented the prisoner as a gang member or gang leader. The issues that can come up are countless where a prisoner can end up at this unit because some staff members will abuse their authority or improperly recommend a prisoner. For these reasons, I object to the proposal and respectfully request that it be withdrawn.

Respectfully Submitted this _____ day of April, 2020.

Signature _________________________

Print Name______________________________

Address __________________________

Second Sample Objection:

OBJECTIONS TO PROPOSAL 33-601.260 ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT UNITS.  

Pursuant to Florida Statutes, Chapter 120, I make the following objections to the above proposed rule. For these reasons, this proposal must be withdrawn: The proposed rule violates Chapter 120 of the Florida Statute as Chapter 944.09 of the Florida Statute does not grant FDOC rulemaking authority to establish Administrative Management Units. I also object because the proposal will not implement Chapters 944.17, 944.1905 and 944.801 of the Florida Statute as alleged in the proposal. I likewise object because the FDOC has failed to prove that this rule is necessary to manage prisoners as alleged in the purpose and effect section of the proposal. I similarly object that this proposal is necessary to place prisoners in this unit because FDOC already has similar Close Management units and can’t run them as constitutionally mandated. These Close Management units are, and have been, the subject of systematic constitutional challenges since 1997, starting with Osterback v Moore, et. al. and currently pending Harvard v Sec. case number 4:19-cv-00212-mw- cas. Therefore, this rule should be withdrawn.  
Respectfully Submitted this _____ day of April, 2020.  
Signature _________________________
Print Name______________________________  
Address __________________________      

Third Sample Objection:  

OBJECTIONS TO PROPOSAL 33-601.260 ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGEMENT UNITS.

Pursuant to Florida Statutes Chapter 120, I file the following objections. For these reasons, this proposal cannot pass: I object because the creation of Administrative Management Units (“AMU”) exceed FDOC’s rulemaking authority and are a direct violation of Fla. Stat.120.52(8)(b). Likewise, I object because none of the Rules quoted by FDOC justify the creation of these units in direct violation of Fla. Stat.120.52(9). Similarly, I object because FDOC is not at will to make units which have no real need. Right now FDOC has other ways to punish prisoners. In particular, Administrative Confinement (AC), Disciplinary Confinement (DC), and Close Management (CM). Then, FDOC has prisons that are just like being on Close Management, where staff beat, gas and apply verbal and corporal punishment without justification. Therefore, FDOC has not met the burden of proof to show that it has a real need to create these units, given that current AC, DC and CM units can do the same thing that this unit will do. In addition, I object because the criteria for placement at an AMU is too vague, fails to establish adequate standards for agency decisions, or vests unbridled discretion in the agency, which all directly violate CH.120.(8)(d). In the like manner, I object because this proposal, on its face, is an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority. The proposal clearly: Enlarges, modifies, or contravenes the specific provisions of law implemented, The rule is vague, fails to establish adequate standards for agency decisions, or vests unbridled discretion in the agency and The Rule is arbitrary or capricious. To illustrate, this rule is arbitrary because it is not supported by logic or the necessary facts. The proposal is also capricious as it is being adopted without thought or reason and it is irrational. Under these definitions, anyone can be placed on this unit based on a whim, reprisal, or any reasons that would not warrant placement. I therefore object to this section. Last, I object because prisoners have Constitutional Rights to be free from unjust punishment or reprisal placements. The Rule cannot pass because these Constitutional safeguards are not in the Rule or serve the purpose or intent of the founding fathers of the Constitution.   Therefore, I respectfully seek that this Rule proposal is withdrawn.  
Respectfully Submitted this _____ day of April, 2020.  
Signature _________________________
Print Name______________________________  
Address __________________________    

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