State Representative Dianne Hart (D- Tampa) recently filed HB 531, aimed at providing modern updates to several existing Florida statutes concerning the Florida Department of Corrections, and eliminating abuse, whether it be physical, mental, or otherwise. Such abuse stands counter-productive to rehabilitative treatments for individuals confined in the Florida Department of Corrections.
Further, HB 531 requires FDOC to include certain inmate rights such as:
- Requiring proper ventilation in their housing units;
- Providing requirements for disciplinary confinement of inmates;
- Specifying basic rights;
- Creating presumption that inmates meeting specified conditions are permanently incapacitated for purposes of consideration for conditional medical release; and
- Requiring FDOC to conduct a study to determine the most cost-effective, meaningful, proven, and workable solution to ensure inmates have employment opportunities upon their release and to identify the steps necessary to implement such solution statewide.
Representative Dianne Hart issued the following statement: “It is clear that major changes in correctional methods are required. It is essential to reduce the use of large institutions and build upon our use of community-based corrections and provide alternatives to institutionalization. Additionally, I want to thank the Florida Justice League for working with me to ensure that inmates under our care have access to basic rights, and wardens are held accountable for their officers.”