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New Law Takes Effect Sat. Making It Easier To Investigate Inmate Deaths, Use-Of-Force

Jun 30, 2017
Originally published on June 30, 2017 6:18 pm

A new law takes effect Saturday that would allow a state law enforcement agency to better conduct investigations into the treatment of Florida prison inmates.

A few years ago, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was tasked with investigating use-of-force incidents and conducting death investigations involving Florida inmates. But, at times, FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen says they’ve encountered some roadblocks.

“An important part of these investigations are the inmate’s medical records,” he said, at a Cabinet meeting. “Currently, there are three ways our investigators may obtain this information: written consent, subpoena with notice, and search warrant. Each of the three significantly inhibits our ability to conduct efficient and effective investigations.”

So, among the new law’s many provisions is one to allow Florida prison staff to provide inmate medical or treatment records to FDLE investigators for official purposes only.

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