The Public Safety Information Act (PSIA), which became law on October 1, 1997, broadened public access to the records of sexual predators and sex offenders. An offender can be designated a sexual predator if he or she commits certain statutorily defined sex crimes that are first degree felonies or greater, or if he or she commits two or more second-degree or greater felony sex offenses within 10 years. In either case, the offense had to have been committed on or after October 1, 1993. An offender can be designated a sex offender if he or she has been convicted of certain sex crimes listed in Florida Statute 794, regardless of the date of offense. Both sexual predators and sex offenders are subject to registration and community notification. It should be noted that some of the sex offenders on supervision previously served state prison time for their offenses.
Sex offenders and sexual predators are supervised by probation officers with specialized training. Most of these offenders are subject to special conditions of supervision and they are supervised at a higher level than regular probation offenders. Some of these offenders are also subject to statutorily defined specific conditions of sex offender probation or sex offender community control. Some examples of special conditions may include offenders not being allowed to reside within 1,000 feet of a school, playground or daycare center, or offenders being required to submit to DNA testing, sex offender treatment, or counseling.
The table below shows that on June 30, 2002, the population of sexual predators and offenders was overwhelmingly male (97.6%) and distributed across all twenty of Florida's judicial circuits. While the percentages suggest that these offenders are more prevalent in large, urban circuits (Miami, Jacksonville, Clearwater, Tampa, and Orlando), the percentage of the circuit's caseload (total number of offenders under community supervision) that is made up of sexual predators and offenders is distributed equally. Of the large, urban circuits listed above, only Miami and Jacksonville have a percentage of sex offenders that is greater than the state percentage (6.4%), with 7.2% and 10.8%, respectively. Circuits 8 (Gainesville), 3 (Lake City), and 12 (Sarasota) all have higher percentages of sex offenders among their supervision population than does Circuit 11 (Miami), and the percentage for Circuit 18 (Sanford) is exactly equal to that for Miami.
Sex Offenders (PSIA & Sexual Predators)|
(Supervised on June 30, 2002)
|3 Lake City||255||11||266||2.7%|
|7 Daytona Beach||408||8||416||4.2%|
|14 Panama City||267||7||274||2.8%|
|15 West Palm Beach||373||11||384||3.9%|
|16 Key West||41||1||42||0.4%|
|17 Ft. Lauderdale||573||3||576||5.9%|
|19 Ft. Pierce||281||9||290||3.0%|
|20 Ft. Myers||362||10||372||3.8%|
|Sup. Interstate Compact||6||0||6|