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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Michael D. Crews

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Community Corrections

Probation Officer Badge

Community Corrections Overview

The primary mission of Community Corrections is to protect the public by monitoring whether offenders on community supervision are complying with their conditions of supervision and reporting non-compliance to the court or releasing authority when it occurs.

Probation officers do this by making contact with offenders, their significant others and family members. Probation officers meet with offenders at the office, at their place of employment and in the community through routine field visits, searches and unannounced visits to their homes. Probation officers make referrals to services and resources available in the community to assist the offender in becoming a law abiding, tax-paying citizen, which ultimately reduces further victimization and recidivism.

Defining the Types of Supervision

Contractual Agreement

Pretrial Intervention

Pretrial Intervention is a type of supervision intended for first time non-violent offenders. Any first time offender, or any person previously convicted of not more than one nonviolent misdemeanor who is charged with any misdemeanor or felony of a third degree, is eligible for release to the pretrial intervention program. Consent must be obtained from the victim, the state attorney, and in some jurisdictions, as in the case of Drug Courts, the judge. The offender signs a contract, agreeing to certain terms and conditions of supervision. If the offender completes the program successfully, charges are dropped. If the offender does not comply with the terms of the contract, his/her case is referred back to the State Attorney for further prosecution.

Requirements are similar in the Drug Offender Pretrial Intervention Program, except the offense can be a second or third degree felony for purchase or possession of a controlled substance under Chapter 893, Florida Statutes; prostitution; tampering with evidence; solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance; or obtaining a prescription by fraud. Drug Offender Pretrial Intervention is often used by judges as a type of supervision imposed for first time offenders with a substance abuse problem.

Court Imposed Supervision

Probation

Probation is a court-ordered term of community supervision under specified conditions for a specific period of time that cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the offense. It is the most common type of community supervision. The offender on probation is required to abide by all conditions ordered by the court. Offenders on probation must comply with standard conditions of supervision, including but not limited to: no violations of the law, monthly reporting requirements, not changing residence or employment or leaving the county without the consent of the probation officer, submitting to random drug testing and searches, and paying the costs of supervision. The sentencing judge will often impose special conditions of supervision, including but not limited to, substance abuse or mental health treatment, victim restitution, and community service hours. Willful non-compliance or a violation of any of these conditions, either by committing another crime or through a technical violation like failing to complete substance abuse treatment, may result in modification of the sentence or revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence that it might have imposed when originally placing the offender on probation.

Drug Offender Probation

Drug Offender Probation is a more intensive form of supervision, which emphasizes treatment of drug offenders and monitoring of offenders' substance abuse through field supervision, contact with treatment providers, and random drug testing. Offenders on Drug Offender Probation have all the standard conditions of supervision imposed, along with any special conditions the court deems necessary due to the offender’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment, increased frequency of drug testing, and sometimes curfews.

Sex Offender Probation

Sex Offender Probation is an intensive form of supervision which emphasizes sex offender treatment and close monitoring in the field to ensure compliance with sex offender conditions of supervision and sex offender registration requirements. Abbreviated versions of the standard sex offender conditions of supervision include:

  • Mandatory curfews;
  • If the victim was under 18
    • a prohibition of living within 1,000 feet of a school, child care facility, park, playground, or other place where children regularly congregate;
    • no unsupervised contact with a child under 18;
    • a prohibition of working for pay or as a volunteer at any place where children regularly congregate including, but not limited to, schools, child care facilities, parks, playgrounds, pet stores, libraries, zoos, theme parks, and malls;
  • Active participation in and successful completion of a sex offender treatment program;
  • Prohibition of any contact with the victim;
  • Prohibition of viewing, accessing, owning or possessing any obscene, pornographic, or sexually stimulating visual or auditory material, including telephone, electronic media, computer programs, or computer services that are relevant to the offender’s deviant behavior pattern;
  • Prohibition on accessing the Internet or other computer services until a qualified practitioner in the offender’s sex offender treatment program, after a risk assessment is completed, approves and implements a safety plan for the offender’s accessing or using the Internet or other computer services;
  • Make restitution;
  • Submission to warrantless search of person, residence or vehicle;
  • Participation at least annually in polygraph examinations;
  • Maintenance of a driving log and prohibition against driving a motor vehicle alone without the prior approval of the supervising officer;
  • Prohibition of using a post office box;
  • If there was sexual contact, a submission to an HIV test, at the probationer’s expense; and
  • For a crime that was committed on or after May 26, 2010, and for those convicted at any time of committing, or attempting, soliciting, or conspiring to commit, any of the criminal offenses listed in Section 943.0435(1)(a)1.a.(I), Florida Statutes, or a similar offense in another jurisdiction, against a victim who was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, a prohibition on visiting schools, child care facilities, parks, and playgrounds, without prior approval from the offender’s supervising Officer and a prohibition on distributing candy or other items to children on Halloween; wearing a Santa Claus costume, or other costume to appeal to children, on or preceding Christmas; wearing an Easter Bunny costume, or other costume to appeal to children, on or preceding Easter; entertaining at children’s parties; or wearing a clown costume; without prior approval from the court.

For more detailed descriptions of the sex offender standard conditions of supervision, please refer to Section 948.30, Florida Statutes.

Community Control

Community Control is a form of intensive supervised “house arrest” including during weekends and holidays. The offender is restricted to his/her residence, with the exception of being allowed to work, attend treatment, visit the probation office, and limited other occasions that must be approved in advance by the Community Control Officer. As with probation, violation of any community control condition may result in revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence that it might have imposed before placing the offender on community control supervision. Many of the offenders who are placed on community control are prison diversions.

Post-Prison Release Supervision

Parole

Parole is a post-prison supervision program where eligible inmates have the terms and conditions of parole set by the Florida Parole Commission, an agency separate from the Department. The period of parole cannot exceed the balance of the offender’s original sentence. Under parole, the offender is to be supervised in the community under specific conditions imposed by the Florida Parole Commission. Parole supervision is provided by Correctional Probation Officers who work for the Florida Department of Corrections. Only offenders sentenced for offenses committed prior to October 1, 1983 can be eligible for parole, as it was abolished for all offenses committed after that date. Even so, there are still more than 5,000 inmates in prison who remain eligible for parole. Parole violations are reported by Probation Officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.

Conditional Release

An inmate sentenced to murder/manslaughter, sexual offenses, robbery or other violent personal crimes, and who has a previous commitment to a state or federal institution or has been convicted as a Habitual Offender or Sexual Predator, meets the criteria for conditional release. Upon reaching their release date with accrued gain time, an inmate is placed on conditional release to serve up to the remainder of their sentence. The Florida Parole Commission imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to conditional release supervision. Supervision is provided by the Department’s Probation Officers. Conditional release violations are reported by Probation Officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.

Addiction Recovery

Addiction Recovery Supervision is a form of supervision for an offender released from a state correctional facility, convicted of a crime committed on or after July 1, 2001, when the offender has:

  • A history of substance abuse or a substance addiction;
  • Participated in any drug treatment;
  • No current or previous convictions for a violent offense; or
  • No current or previous convictions for: drug trafficking; unlawful sale of a controlled substance; or property offense, except for passing worthless checks, forgery, uttering, or counterfeiting, third degree felony grand theft (excluding a theft relating to firearms), third degree felony burglary of an unoccupied structure or conveyance; or a traffic offense involving injury or death.

The Florida Parole Commission imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to Addiction Recovery Supervision, which include substance abuse treatment and random drug testing to monitor substance abuse. Supervision is provided by the Department’s Probation Officers. Addiction Recovery Supervision violations are reported by Probation Officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.

Community Corrections Facts & Figures for FY 2012-13:

  • There were 145,802 offenders being supervised by Probation Officers on June 30, 2013;
  • Offenders on supervision completed 1,466,679.75 hours of community service in FY 2012-13;
  • 88,819 offenders were admitted to supervision;
  • 88,940 offenders were released from supervision;
  • 13,682 (15.4%) were revoked due to a new arrest;
  • 19,549 (21.9%) were revoked due to a technical violation;
  • 12,702 (14.3%) were terminated due to court/Florida Parole Commission action;
  • As of June 30, 2013 the statewide successful completion rate was 58.3%;

Probation Officers collected more than $71 million from probationers in restitution and other costs in FY 2012-13.

 

FY 2011/2012 FY 2012/2013
Restitution $29,930,990.58 $31,288,965.58
Court Costs & Fines $15,857,534.11 $14,034,622.61
Cost of Supervision $18,737,015.94 $19,208,569.13
Other $ 7,331,433.14 $6,882,897.15
Total $71,856,973.77 $71,415,054.47

 

On the left, a sign that says Probation and Parole Services. On the right, a man wearing a jacket that says State Probation Officer.