You thought so too.
We thought wrong.
Black is white.
Hot is cold.
In is out.
Yes is no.
All Animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. *
And the DOC agreed to allow attorneys see clients in person, except it didn't.
And the problem was resolved, except it wasn't.
Enjoy today's email and kudos to Rick Freedman for fighting the good fight. Buy him a beer the next time you see him at a Dolphin's game. (the highlights in red are ours, not Mr. Freedman's. Judges sometimes read the blog and need a little assistance.)
Assistant Director Junior:Thank you for taking the time today to speak with me about the issue of the attorney visits at your MDC&R facilities and the ability of the attorney to see an inmate in a "barrier free environment" and not under glass, pursuant to Directive D11-003 issued February 15, 2011 by your Department.I called you as a representative of FACDL, the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. You currently have two designated representatives from our organization that you meet with regularly, Michelle Estlund and Marcos Beaton. You did indicate that you meet with them Quarterly and that Ms. Estlund and Mr. Beaton have done a great job representing the interests of FACDL and the criminal defense bar.The only reason I felt the need to get involved in this matter was because, in 2010, I was the FACDL representative that negotiated with Director Ryan, and the Legal team of Ty Williams and Pat Jones the Directive that is currently in place. We worked on this Directive for a full year and, by all accounts, it has been working nearly flawlessly for the past five years.Recently, we received a few emails from attorneys who were being denied the ability to visit with inmates in a barrier free environment. These attorneys were NOT the attorney of record for the inmate. They were told that they could only see the inmates in a glass environment. More importantly, the officers were all confronted with the matter of that not being in accordance with the Directive - and all of the officers responded uniformly - this is the way we have always done it.After receiving these emails from these attorneys I took it upon myself to speak with Pat Jones and her staff in your Legal Unit. I was assured that the matter was addressed at the Command Staff Meeting that took place on Monday, July 20, 2015. I sent an email out to all 750 members of FACDL and informed them as such. I did ask the attorneys to please email myself, Ms. Estlund or Mr. Beaton with any issues they had subsequent tomeeting and we asked the attorney to be specific as to date, time, location, officer's names, etc. when they encountered any problems with the enforcement of the Directive.Last Friday, July 24th, we got another email. The incident took place at TGK that day. It happened atand the Officer was Officer West. An attorney, not of record, wanted to visit an inmate. The man had been arrested on July 23rd and the PD was appointed. The attorney said that Officer West was extremely polite and very professional. But she told the attorney that, because he was not the attorney of record, he had to see the inmate "under glass". The attorney, knowing about the Directive, and our emails of the past two weeks, pointed this out to Officer West. He asked her to go to her Supervisor. Officer West eventually agreed to let the attorney see the inmate in a barrier free environment but the attorney was told that "this was an exception to the rules".So, today, I spoke with Captain Richardson at TGK. She was aware of the incident of last Friday because Pat Jones had discussed it with her. (I had spoken with Pat Jones about the incident that same afternoon). Captain Richardson told me things that were very different from what Pat Jones was telling me. I discussed those issues with you directly. Without naming names in this email, (we already discussed it on the phone today), Captain Richardson's superior was telling her that there is no Directive in place; that only DSOPs matter; that there is no DSOP on attorney visits; and that the policy is that attorneys who are not attorneys of record can only see inmates "under glass".Captain Richardson explained to me that she told her superior that, "how can an attorney speak with an inmate under glass when they can't hear each other". As you may know, family members were slipping contraband through straws and through the little holes in the glass. So they replaced the glass with no holes. That makes it near impossible for an attorney to hear an inmate when the attorney is forced to meet an inmate "under glass". Captain Richardson took it upon herself to tell her day staff Officers to let attorneys, who are not the attorney of record, have a short 30 minute visit with the inmate in a barrier free environment. But she told me that this was in contradiction to what she was being told by her Supervisor.Please note that this problem is not one limited to TGK - we have been getting emails about the same thing happening at Metro West.You agreed that the Directive was in place, that the Directive is still the controlling practice of MDC&R, and that you would make sure that all Commanders, Captains, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Officers, etc. became aware of and/or were re-introduced to the Directive. You did ask us to be patient as you have a large amount of employees and it would take some time to get the message out to everyone and have them reacquaint themselves with the Directive.I appreciate your taking the time to speak with me and I understand that it make take a few days to get the word out to all your employees. Please feel free to call or email me with any updates on the issue.Thanks again.Rick Freedman
* George Orwell, Animal Farm.