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December 16, 2017
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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXIX
PUBLIC HEALTH
Chapter 394
MENTAL HEALTH
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F.S. 394.9223
394.9223 Use of force.
(1) When necessary to provide protection and security to any client, to the personnel, equipment, buildings, or grounds of a secure facility, or to citizens in the surrounding community, an employee or agent of a secure facility, or an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency, may apply physical force upon a person confined in a secure facility under this part only when and to the extent that it reasonably appears necessary. This includes the use of nonlethal devices, such as chemical agents and handheld electronic immobilization devices, when authorized by the administrator of the facility or her or his designee when the administrator is not present, and only after an employee has been trained in the appropriate use of such chemical agents and electronic devices. Chemical agents and handheld electronic devices shall be used only to the extent necessary to provide protection and security. A staff person may not carry a chemical agent or handheld electronic immobilization device on her or his person under any circumstances, except during escort of a facility resident outside of the secure perimeter of the facility, or as an authorized response to an incident within the facility which threatens the safety or security of staff or residents. Handheld electronic immobilization devices are only used during escort of a confined person outside of the secure perimeter of the facility. Circumstances under which reasonable force may be employed include:
(a) Defending oneself against imminent use of unlawful force;
(b) Preventing the escape of a person confined at the secure facility.
(c) Preventing damage to property;
(d) Quelling a disturbance; or
(e) Overcoming physical resistance to a lawful command.
(2) Following any use of force, each person who was physically involved shall receive a medical examination by a qualified health care provider, unless the person refuses such examination, to determine the extent of injury, if any. The examining health care provider shall prepare a report that includes, but need not be limited to, a statement of whether further examination by a physician is necessary. Any noticeable physical injury shall be examined by a physician who shall prepare a report documenting the extent and cause of the injury and the treatment prescribed. Such report shall be completed within 5 working days after the incident and shall be submitted to the facility superintendent for investigation as appropriate.
(3) Each person who applied physical force or was responsible for making the decision to apply physical force upon a confined person shall prepare, date, and sign an independent report within 3 working days after the incident. The report shall be delivered to the facility superintendent who shall conduct an investigation and shall determine whether force was appropriately used. Copies of the report and the facility superintendent’s evaluation shall be kept in the resident’s file. A record of each incident involving an employee’s use of force and the facility superintendent’s evaluation shall be kept in the employee’s file.
(4) An employee of a secure facility under this part who, with malicious intent:
(a) Commits a battery upon a person confined in the facility commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083; or
(b) Commits a battery or inflicts cruel or inhuman treatment by neglect or otherwise, and in so doing causes great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement to a person confined in the facility, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 2, ch. 2007-241.