OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Executive Office of the Governor

Correctional Medical Authority

What is the purpose of the authority?

The Correctional Medical Authority (CMA) was created in 1986. The purpose of the authority is to assist in the delivery of health care services for inmates in the Department of Corrections by advising the Secretary of Corrections on the professional conduct of primary, convalescent, dental, and mental health care, and the management of costs consistent with quality care; advising the Governor and the Legislature on the status of the Department of Corrections' health care delivery system; and assuring that adequate standards of physical and mental health care for inmates are maintained at all Department of Corrections' institutions.

Where is the authority administratively housed?

The Correctional Medical Authority (CMA) has had different organizational placements. Prior to July 1, 2011, the CMA was housed within the Department of Health (DOH) for administrative purposes. During the 2011 Legislative Session, two bills designed to abolish the CMA passed both chambers and were sent to the Governor for approval. Chapter 2011-69, Laws of Florida, (the 2011 General Appropriations Act), eliminated the funding and positions related to the authority, and House Bill No. 5305 repealed the statutes related to the CMA.  The Governor vetoed House Bill No. 5305, but not the General Appropriations Act, and therefore the CMA did not have the funding to operate or perform its duties for Fiscal Year 2011-12. The 2012 Legislature subsequently enacted Ch. 2012-122, Laws of Florida, which reassigned, for administrative purposes, the CMA from the Department of Health to the Executive Office of the Governor. All powers, duties, functions, and administrative rules transferred from the Department of Health to the Executive Office of the Governor. The 2020 Legislature enacted Ch. 2020-113, Laws of Florida, amending s. 945.602, Florida Statutes, which provides for the CMA to be transferred, administratively, from the Executive Office of the Governor back to the Department of Health. This bill was approved by the Governor and went into effect July 1, 2020.

How does the authority assure that adequate standards are met?

The Correctional Medical Authority contracts with a variety of licensed community and public health care practitioners, including physicians, psychiatrists, dentists, nurses, psychologists, and other mental health professionals to conduct surveys at each Florida prison every three years. The survey process includes a clinical review of the physical, dental, and mental health care provided at each correctional institution for selected cases. Cases selected for review are representative of inmates who were receiving mental and/or physical health services (or who were eligible to receive such services). In order to be included in the final report, there must be a finding of non-compliance with the standard in at least 20% of records reviewed in the selected sample to which the standard applies. Surveys are followed by Correction Action Plan (CAP) assessments until the institutions are in compliance. Surveyors also review administrative issues such as the existence and application of written policies and procedures, staff credentials, staff training, and confinement practices.

How many surveys does the authority conduct?

By the end of Fiscal Year 2019-20 (June 2020) the Correctional Medical Authority conducted 12 of 17 scheduled surveys. Five surveys were postponed due to COVID-19. The CMA has 20 surveys scheduled for Fiscal Year 2020-21.

How is the authority staffed?

The CMA has 10 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and two OPS positions. In addition, the CMA has a seven member, volunteer board whose members are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate for a term of four years.

How are these activities funded?

For Fiscal Year 2020-21, the Legislature appropriated $1,471,226 from the General Revenue Fund to the CMA for operating costs.

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports

Correctional Medical Authority agendas, minutes, surveys, and reports are available on the authority's website.

State of Florida Correctional Medical Authority, 2018-2019 Annual Report and Update on the Status of Elderly Offenders in Florida's Prisons, December 2019.  

Websites of Interest

National Commission on Correctional Health Care

Florida Department of Health 

Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Section 945.602, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Jane Holmes-Cain, Executive Director, Correctional Medical Authority, 850-717-9500