Sec. 33-203.201 - Inmate Trust Fund
§ 33-203.201. Inmate Trust Fund
(1) The following are the policies of the department with respect to money received for the personal use or benefit of inmates:
(a) Inmates may establish a demand deposit account, hereinafter referred to as an inmate trust account, through the Inmate Trust Fund at the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section. If an inmate establishes an inmate trust account through the Inmate Trust Fund, such funds shall not accrue interest to him.
(b) In the case of probation and restitution center offenders who violate the conditions of probation and owe fees for room and board, a staff member of the probation and restitution center may file a claim for a cost judgment in conjunction with the violation report. The staff member shall file with the Office of the General Counsel, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500, a true copy of the judgment or other monetary order or sanction which has been entered by the appropriate court, together with a cover letter stating the date and amount of the judgment, money order or sanction, or the balance remaining if less than the face amount thereof.
(c) Inmates may establish personal accounts with a bank, savings and loan association, or similar private financial institutions.
(d) The Department will not be responsible for transactions between inmates and private financial institutions or for financial transactions between inmates and other parties.
(e) The Department may invest, through the State Treasurer, funds on deposit in the Inmate Trust Fund in excess of such cash as needed to meet the current needs of the inmates.
(f) An inmate's right to establish an account with a private financial institution does not in any way diminish the provisions of paragraph 33-602.203(5)(a), F.A.C., Control of Contraband, which limits and controls the amount of money an inmate may have in his possession or Rule 33-602.201, F.A.C., Inmate Property, which does not allow inmates to possess checks, credit cards, debit cards, or other negotiables.
(g) Pursuant to Section 944.516, F.S., each inmate shall be charged an administrative processing fee of no more than $6.00 per month for banking services. The fee shall be based upon account activity for the month. An inmate whose account has no activity for the month shall not be assessed a fee for that month. Inmates shall be charged one percent of their total weekly canteen purchases and $0.50 for each deposit. Inmates housed at Community Release Centers (CRC's) will be assessed a $1.00 fee for each weekly cash draw. These fees are waived for Veterans of the United States Armed Forces who notify and provide documentation to the department that they have received an honorable discharge from military services.
(h) In an effort to detect and aid in the prevention of the fraudulent use of an inmate's trust fund account, the Department will conduct monthly reviews of inmate trust fund transactions. Suspicious activity will be reported to the Office of the Inspector General for further review.
(i) The Department may place a hold or freeze on an inmate's trust fund account at the request of a law enforcement agency due to an active investigation. The hold or freeze will remain until the Department receives notice to remove it.
(a) All monies from family and friends (cashiers checks, money orders, or certified bank drafts only; no cash or personal checks allowed) shall be mailed pursuant to the instructions provided on Form DC2-363, Money Order Deposit Form For Inmate Deposits, and shall be initially deposited into the Inmate Trust Fund. Form DC2-363 is hereby incorporated by reference. This form may be obtained from any institution, facility, the vendor listed on Form DC2-363, the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section, Centerville Station, P.O. Box 12100, Tallahassee, Florida 32317-2100 or the Forms Control Administrator, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500, http://www.flrules.org/Gateway/reference.asp?No=Ref-08569. The effective date of this form is 8-17. Funds must be mailed with the completed Form DC2-363, Money Order Deposit Form For Inmate Deposits, and made payable to vendor listed on Form DC2-363 and include the inmate's name and DC number. Funds will become available for the inmate's use within ten working days after receipt by the vendor. Every effort shall be made to have funds available sooner. Deposits from family and friends mailed to institutional or other Department addresses including the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section will be returned to the sender. Do not include any letters or notes with your payments, these will be discarded. All other types of payments such as U.S. Treasury Checks, transfers from Private Facilities/County Jails, and business checks should continue to be mailed to the Inmate Trust Fund Address: Florida Department of Corrections, Inmate Trust Fund, Centerville Station, P.O. Box 12100, Tallahassee, FL 32317-2100. Any money order, cashiers check, business check or certified bank draft in the amount of $400 or higher posted to an inmate's account will have a ten day hold placed on the funds. On the tenth day the funds will be available for the inmate's use. Deposits processed through the contracted vendor, checks from the State of Florida, U.S. Treasury Checks, transfer checks from contracted facilities and county jails, and work release paychecks are exempt from the 10 day hold.
(b) In accordance with 38 U.S.C. 5301, Veterans Administration (VA) benefit checks are exempt from attachment, levy or seizure. The Department shall not deduct payments for liens on the inmate's trust fund account for medical co-payments, legal copies, or other Department generated liens from VA benefits checks mailed directly to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section, Centerville Station, P.O. Box 12100, Tallahassee, FL 32317-2100.
(c) Deposits sent by mail are processed using an advanced high-speed processing machine which requires the use of the deposit form. Attempts will be made to process deposits sent without the accompanying form, but the absence of the form could cause a delay of up to 30 days to process. If staff are unable to determine to which inmate the money is being sent, the money will be returned to the sender with a request for additional information necessary to process the deposit. If staff are unable to determine to which inmate the money is being sent and are unable to return the money because the sender did not provide a valid return address, the money will be held in a clearing account until the sender or receiving inmate is identified. If the inmate remains unidentified for 1 year the funds shall escheat to the state as unclaimed funds held by a government agency in accordance with Section 717.113, F.S.
(d) An inmate may withdraw his funds from the Inmate Trust Fund for deposit into a personal account with a private financial institution. If an inmate does not wish his monies to be deposited into the Inmate Trust Fund, he must advise the donor of the funds to send them directly to the private financial institution of his choice. This option shall not be available when an inmate is on work release or a similar paid work program. In this case, the provisions of Rule 33-601.602, F.A.C., disbursement of earnings, shall apply. All inmates on work release shall submit their full pay for deposit in the Inmate Trust Fund so that subsistence and transportation costs, restitution, 10% savings hold, and court ordered payments, if applicable, may be deducted. In the case of inmates who are paid via EFT, the funds will be deposited into the Inmate Trust Fund and the same provisions of Rule 33-601.602, F.A.C., shall apply. The inmate may transfer any excess funds to a private account as defined in paragraph (1)(b) in accordance with the personalized program plan.
(a) Inmates with sufficient balances in their individual Inmate Trust Fund accounts shall be allowed to spend an amount set by the Secretary not to exceed $100 a week at the institution's canteen for personal use. Inmates on work release with sufficient balances in their individual Inmate Trust Fund accounts shall be allowed to request a weekly draw set by the Secretary not to exceed $100 to be expended for personal use. In order to request a expenditure of funds in excess of the authorized canteen limit or weekly draw, the inmate shall complete Form DC2-304, Inmate Trust Fund Special Withdrawal. Form DC2-304 is hereby incorporated by reference. This form may be obtained from any institution or facility or from the Forms Control Administrator, Department of Corrections, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500. The effective date of this form is September 2, 2008. If the withdrawal is for the purpose of making a deposit to a personal account with a private financial institution in the inmate's name, the check drawn upon the Inmate Trust Fund shall be made payable to the private financial institution which has been chosen by the inmate, with the inmate as a reference, and shall be mailed to the private financial institution. If an inmate requests a copy of a cancelled check or requests to stop payment on a check, the inmate shall be responsible for the fees charged to process these transactions. Requests for special withdrawals submitted without the required signatures or on other than the approved form will be returned to the inmate without processing. Inmates wishing to send funds to inmates at other institutions must obtain approval from the wardens at both institutions.
(b) With regard to the transfer or payment of funds from inmate trust accounts as identified in paragraphs (2)(d) and (3)(a), the Department will make every reasonable effort to transfer said funds within 10 days of the Department's receipt of an inmate's written request via Form DC2-304, Inmate Trust Fund Special Withdrawal.
(4) Each facility which houses inmates on work release shall establish an inmate check cashing procedure with a local bank, business or other reputable establishment so that inmates can cash checks authorized by the facility or the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section. Under no circumstances shall an employee countersign or endorse an inmate's check for the purpose of cashing such check.
(5) When an inmate is released from the control of the Department, and his or her inmate trust account balance exceeds $1.00, the inmate's balance in the Inmate Trust Fund at the time of discharge shall be downloaded to the inmate's release gratuity debit card or mailed by check by the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section, within 45 days of the inmate's release to the address provided by the inmate during the release process. However, if deposits of checks, money orders or other negotiable instruments have been made to the inmate's account but have not cleared the account of the payer by the time the inmate is discharged, funds equal to the amount of the uncleared deposits shall be retained in the inmate's trust fund account. Immediately after the deposits have cleared, the balance due the inmate shall be downloaded to the inmate's release gratuity debit card or mailed by check forwarded by mail to the inmate. Inmates being released will be provided with a debit card for travel and related expenses. For inmates who meet eligibility requirements set forth in Rule 33-601.502, F.A.C., this money shall be in the form of a discharge gratuity. For inmates who are not eligible for discharge gratuities, a hold will be placed on the inmate's trust account and any remaining account balance shall be forwarded as indicated above. Pursuant to Section 717.113, F.S., in the event that funds are unclaimed after a period of one year, the balance shall escheat to the state as unclaimed funds held by a government agency.
(6) Upon the death of any inmate affected by the provisions of this section during the period of incarceration, all funds in excess of $1.00 shall be held pending official notification from the personal representative of the inmate. Any unclaimed money held for him in trust by the Department or by the State Treasurer shall be applied to the payment of any unpaid state claims against the inmate. In the event that the funds are unclaimed after a period of 1 year, the balance shall escheat to the state as unclaimed funds held by fiduciaries pursuant to Section 944.516, F.S.
(7) When an inmate escapes and is not captured within 30 days, any balance in his Inmate Trust Fund account, in excess of $1.00, shall be forwarded to the person designated on the inmate's notification record. If this person cannot be located after reasonable efforts, the funds shall be held for one year and, if unclaimed, shall escheat to the state pursuant to Section 717.113, F.S.
(8) Interest earned on investments of money from the Inmate Trust Fund may be used to replace any funds belonging to an inmate which have been stolen, lost or otherwise misappropriated from the inmate's trust account through no fault of the Department or its employees and which cannot be replaced by appropriated funds, insurance payments, or other available resources.
(a) Reviews of periodic financial statements, by the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, will include a determination of whether any Inmate Trust Fund shortages exist. Any trust fund shortage will be resolved during the course of the review.
(b) The bureau chief will file an incident report with the Inspector General's Office if fraudulent activity is suspected. The Inspector General's Office will process the incident report and forward the results to the Bureau of Internal Audit. The Bureau of Internal Audit will audit the funds as part of the next regularly scheduled audit of the Inmate Trust Fund. The audit will be conducted in accordance with Sections 20.055 and 944.516(1)(f), F.S.
(9) Notice to the Department of an adverse claim against funds held by an inmate in the Inmate Trust Fund shall not cause the Department to recognize the adverse claimant unless the adverse claimant is the State of Florida and the claim is a cost judgment entered by a state or federal court against the inmate in a civil or criminal action brought by the inmate, in an appeal of such civil or criminal action, or if the cost judgment is the result of any other monetary judgment, order, or sanction imposed by a court against an inmate, the provisions of subsection (10) of this rule shall apply.
(10) Any cost judgment or other monetary judgment, order, or sanction imposed against an inmate as described in subsection (9) above, shall be paid by offsetting the amount of the judgment or monetary order or sanction against the inmate's funds in his Inmate Trust Fund account in the following manner:
(a) The attorney representing the state in such civil or criminal action or appeal shall file with the Office of the General Counsel, Department of Corrections, 501 South Calhoun Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500, a true copy of the judgment or other monetary order or sanction which has been entered by the appropriate court, together with a cover letter stating the date and amount of the judgment, monetary order, or sanction, or the balance remaining if less than the face amount thereof, as well as the attorney's name, address and telephone number. The attorney shall also certify in the letter that:
1. He has been employed by the State to handle such action;
2. The enclosed copy of the judgment or other monetary order or sanction is a true and accurate copy thereof as actually entered by the court;
3. The judgment or relevant order is final; and
4. A copy of the letter, together with a copy of the judgment or relevant order has been furnished to the inmate at his last known address as indicated in the attorney's records.
(b) Upon receipt of the above documents, the Office of the General Counsel shall determine if the inmate is still in the custody of the Department. If the inmate is not in the custody of the Department, the Office of the General Counsel shall advise the attorney of that fact and, if known, advise the attorney of the last known forwarding address of the inmate. If the inmate is in the custody of the Department, the Office of the General Counsel shall forward the letter and a copy of the judgment or relevant order to the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section.
(c) Once the Bureau of Finance and Accounting, Inmate Trust Fund Section, receives the letter and a copy of the judgment or relevant order, a hold shall immediately be placed on the inmate's account. The inmate shall be promptly advised of the hold and that the reason therefore is an unsatisfied judgment or other monetary order or sanction. A copy of the attorney's letter or the letter from the probation and parole field office and a copy of the judgment or relevant order will be given to the inmate upon his request.
(d) If there are sufficient funds in the inmate's account to satisfy the amount shown as due or the remaining balance as stated by the attorney, the appropriate officer shall promptly cause a check to be issued payable to the "State of Florida" and shall return the check to the attorney. The check shall be drawn and credited against funds in the inmate's account. At such time, the hold shall be released on the inmate's account. It shall be the attorney's responsibility to see that the check is forwarded to the appropriate state agency or entity.
(e) If there are insufficient funds in the inmate's account to satisfy the amount shown as due or the balance remaining as stated by the attorney, a check shall be issued payable to the "State of Florida" for the amount contained in the inmate's account. Each time that the inmate receives funds in his account, payment shall be disbursed to the State of Florida until the debt is satisfied. The hold shall remain on the inmate's account until sufficient funds have been paid to satisfy the amount shown as due or the balance remaining thereon. If the inmate is released from the custody of the Department before he has paid the full amount of the judgment, upon his release, a notice shall be sent to the attorney or probation and parole office advising the attorney or office of the inmate's release, the inmate's last forwarding address, if known, and the fact that the inmate has not paid the full amount of the judgment. A copy of this notice shall be placed in the inmate's file.
(11) Inmates shall be provided with monthly statements detailing the activity in their trust fund accounts. Inmates will be provided one monthly trust account statement reflecting all transactions for the current month. If an inmate thinks the statement is wrong, or if additional information is needed about a transaction, the inmate must submit Form DC6-236, Inmate Request, no later than sixty days after the first statement on which the problem or error appeared. The request must provide sufficient detail for audit. The complaint will be investigated and errors will be corrected promptly. If it takes more than ten working days to do this, a written notification of the delay will be provided. Form DC6-236 is incorporated by reference in Rule 33-103.019, F.A.C.
(12) When necessary for meeting state or federal requirements for demonstrating indigence to the courts, inmates shall be provided with copies of printouts of their trust fund activity for the previous six months upon presentation of information demonstrating litigation - case number (if known), court, completed affidavit of indigency - attached to an inmate request. Application of this provision is limited to those requests which specifically state that the printouts are necessary for this purpose. The printout shall be provided to the inmate by the Bureau of Classification within 10 working days of receipt of the request. When necessary to meet time constraints within the court system, the printout shall be provided by other means available. Copies will be limited to one per month. Copies shall be authorized in accordance with Rule 33-501.302, F.A.C.(New 1-27-86, Amended 7-16-89, 5-1-90, 3-2-92, 6-2-92, 8-25-92, 10-19-92, 4-13-93, 5-28-96, 6-15-98, Formerly 33-3.018, Amended 5-7-00, 7-13-03, 10-20-03, 1-23-05, 5-12-05, 11-12-06, 9-2-08, 5-26-09, 7-1-13, 3-11-14, Amended by Florida Register Volume 43, Number 148, August 1, 2017 effective 8-15-17.)
Rulemaking Authority 944.09, 944.151, 944.516, 945.091, 945.215 FS. Law Implemented 17.61, 20.315(12), 57.085, 717.113, 944.09, 944.151, 944.516, 945.091, 945.215 FS.
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