The Fugitive Unit, created in January 2007, is tasked to protect
Florida’s citizens by investigating escapes from state and
private facilities. The unit tracks and locates the fugitive in
question and coordinates with law enforcement to return the
fugitive to custody. The Fugitive Unit provides criminal
investigative assistance to other law enforcement agencies who
may be seeking fugitives who have ties to Florida.
In June 2012, the department joined with the Florida Association
of Crime Stoppers, the Office of the Attorney General, and the
FDLE to make it easier for inmates, probationers, and members
of the public to anonymously provide crime tip information to law
enforcement. Prominent posters displaying the toll-free number to the Florida
Association of Crime Stoppers are located in each correctional facility and probation
office. The department also created a new public-access web page to highlight
Florida’s “Ten Most Wanted” felons and has posted the images and names of the worst
of Florida’s fugitives and absconders. The Florida Association of Crime Stoppers
displays these same felons on public billboards and in other types of print and electronic
media throughout Florida.
In the Fall of 2013, the Office of Inspector General dedicated a full-time inspector
position to the United States Marshal Service. As a Special Deputy US Marshal, the
inspector has become an integral part of the Florida Caribbean Regional Fugitive Task
Force, training with them and working side-by-side to return violent felons and sex
offenders to custody.
During Fiscal Year 2014-15 there were no successful escapes from within a secured
fence at any of Florida’s correctional institutions. There were four escapes from work
camps of which three fugitives were captured almost immediately. The fourth was
recaptured within 48 hours of escape.
In February of 2015, the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Public
Assistance Fraud Operations began working with the Fugitive Unit. The Division will be
leveraging its technology by using its data systems to assist in locating State fugitives.
This newest partnership provides potential intelligence information that may lead to the
arrest of Florida’s fugitives.
Contraband Interdiction/Narcotic Canine Unit
The Contraband Interdiction Unit promotes a safer environment for employees, inmates,
and visitors by detecting and discouraging the introduction of contraband such as
weapons, cellular telephones, and narcotics. Interdiction inspectors conduct
unannounced contraband searches with assistance from certified narcotic canine
teams. During the interdictions, employees, visitors, volunteers, inmates, vehicles, and
facility grounds are searched for contraband. Random interdiction operations and
canine sweeps are conducted at all state and private prisons.
Florida Department of Corrections Page 10 Office of Inspector General