As part of an effort to restore the Florida Corrections Department’s image, Secretary Jim McDonough said the agency will begin random drug tests of employees, including testing for steroids, which figured in allegations of misconduct by prison workers, the Associated Press reports. McDonough, the former head of drug control policy for Gov. Jeb Bush, said the policy wouldn’t be punitive for those who test positive. They would undergo treatment but keep their jobs in the meantime. During the treatment, they would be moved out of duty that could be dangerous.
The new policy allows for random testing of nearly any employee with an oral swab. If the worker were to test positive, it would lead to a second test to confirm the results. The biggest union representing corrections and probation officers supports the plan. Brian Dawe of Wyoming-based Corrections USA, a nonprofit advocacy group for corrections officers around the country, and McDonough agreed that Florida is likely the first state in the nation to require random drug testing of all corrections employees. “And its an absurd policy,” Dawe said. “We don’t check our constitutional rights when we punch the clock.”