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Monday, December 13, 2010
JAIL VISIT GUIDELINES UPDATED
OK, we're back. Sort of. Not really into it, but we'll try.
From Rick Freedman comes this jail visit update:
The new policy, outlined below, which goes into effect December 15, 2010, is listed here on Correction's website (they also have great deals on amazon dot com electronics)
In June of this year I began meeting with the Miami-Dade Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation. I met several times with Director Tim Ryan as well as his legal staff. I presented them with our concerns. We wanted all attorneys that were licensed members of The Florida Bar to have unbridled access to inmates at all MDCR facilities. We objected to the policy that only permitted attorneys of record to have face to face visits with inmates, while all other attorneys were forced to have a barrier visit (under glass) with the inmate.
MDCR explained to me on several occasions that their primary goal was always "safety and security". They were also concerned about several instances where attorneys were not following the MDCR rules and where some attorneys had allegedly violated the law. They did agree that it was unreasonable for each facility to have different rules depending on the day of the week, time of day and whom the shift commander may have been on any given day. While it took some time, they finally understood that they were making it very difficult for private counsel to interview potential new clients at the jail with a glass barrier separating the attorney from the client. I explained to them that going over A forms, OIR's, exhibit lists, depositions, diagrams, etc. required interaction that could not be effectively accomplished with a barrier. I also explained that there were several instances where an associate of a law firm could not even see the firm's client face to face if the partner of the firm was the attorney of record and the associate was there to see the client.
After several months of negotiations, MDCR did finally agree to relax the barrier rule. All licensed attorneys will now be permitted to see inmates at all facilities within MDCR without having to do so under glass. The new rule states that "an inmate shall only be allowed a one hour attorney visit, twice per day, by an attorney, not listed as the attorney of record by the Clerk of Courts." After two attorney visits, all other wishing to see that same inmate on that same day, will have to do so under glass. (If you are an associate from a firm that represents the inmate, you should bring with you a document from the firm on letterhead that explains your relationship to the client). Also, make sure that your letterhead address matches your Florida Bar address listed on the Bar's web site.
Please be aware of the recommended visitations times. Also, on a separate note, if any of our members have not already registered their law office number with MDCR "Do Not Record List" they may want to take this opportunity to follow the rules attached and do so now.
MDCR will be implementing these new policies effective December 15, 2010. They understand that there will be instances where a MDCR employee may not understand the rules the way you understand them. Please make every attempt to discuss the issue with the Shift Commander if at all possible. MDCR is doing their best to make sure that all employees of their department are aware of these new policies.
If any of our members have any questions or comments, please feel free to have them email me and I will attempt to answer the question myself or direct them to the person at MDCR who can answer their question.
I hope these new policies and procedures help make our members' lives a bit easier when visiting an inmate in Miami-Dade County.
Thank you Rick. Great job.
**ALERT** IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE SO ALREADY, GO TO THE WEBSITE LISTED ABOVE AND REGISTER YOUR OFFICE PHONE NUMBER ON THE "DO NOT RECORD LIST"
DON'T SAY WE DIDN'T WARN YOU.
Thought of the day:
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.