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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Community Corrections

Probation Officer Badge

Community Corrections Overview

Mission Statement

To enhance public safety, through ensuring appropriate community supervision of offenders, recommending proportionate graduated sanctions when reporting violations in lieu of prison when appropriate, providing assistance to victims, conducting thorough investigations for the court and reducing crime by assisting offenders with their reentry into society.

Responsibilities and Roles of State Probation Officers

State Probation Officers perform work that makes a critical difference in the safety of our communities. State probation officers serve to protect the community and provide effective supervision by:

  • monitoring and enforcing offender compliance with conditions of supervision;
  • reporting non-compliance to the court or Florida Commission on Offender Review and providing recommendations for appropriate sanctions;
  • visiting the offender in the community to monitor compliance with conditions of supervision, conduct searches and curfew checks, verify residence and employment, observe attendance at treatment or community service work sites and;
  • assisting law enforcement with violation arrests, deportation, sex offender registration requirements, gang or other public safety/crime prevention initiatives or intelligence.

State Probation Officers also play an integral part in reducing victimization and recidivism by assisting offenders to succeed by:

  • working with the offender to identify what is needed to comply with conditions of supervision and change behavior (e.g. employment, stable residence, education, vocational skills, transportation, counseling, etc.);
  • holding offenders accountable for their actions and decisions by providing positive reinforcement and incentives to motivate offenders and reward good behavior and by acting quickly, firmly and fairly to address non-compliance or declining behavior;
  • collaborating with community partners to provide services and resources for offenders and;
  • maintaining partnerships in the community to provide offenders with employment application/interviewing classes, bus tokens, used bikes, clothes, financial assistance, anger management, marriage or parenting classes and educational/vocational opportunities.

Benefits of Community Supervision

Community supervision is a critical component of the criminal justice system and offers the following benefits to:

  • The Public and Potential Victims—Community Corrections is committed helping offenders succeed, which results in more positive outcomes for the offender and ultimately leads to reduced victimization and recidivism.
  • Victims—Offenders are held accountable for victim compensation. During the last fiscal year, offenders paid over $32 million in victim restitution.
  • The Public and Offenders—Offenders on supervision can be contributing members of the community by working, and paying court costs, fines and taxes in lieu of burdening taxpayers with their cost of incarceration in county jails or state prisons. During the past fiscal year, offenders paid over $14.9 million in court costs and fines to the sentencing county and over $20.7 million in costs of supervision to be deposited into Florida’s General
    Revenue Fund.
  • Tax Payers—Supervision provides an alternative sentence to prison for many offenders. It costs much less per day to supervise an offender on community supervision versus the cost per day to house an inmate in a Florida prison.
  • The Community—Offenders performed more than 1.3 million hours of public service work for the community last fiscal year, which equates to over $13 million dollars of work performed at $10/per hour.

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.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 Commission on Offender Review (FCOR), an agency separate from the Department that was formerly known as the Florida Parole Commission. 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 FCOR. 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 FCOR, 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 FCOR 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 FCOR, 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 Commission on Offender Review 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 FCOR, 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 2014–15:

  • There were 139,833 offenders being supervised by Probation Officers on June 30, 2015.
  • Offenders on supervision completed 1,310,004 hours of community service in FY 2014–15.
  • 83,064 offenders were admitted to supervision.
  • 86,099 offenders were released from supervision.
  • 12,796 were revoked due to a new arrest.
  • 19,190 were revoked due to a technical violation.
  • 11,568 were terminated due to court/Florida Commission on Offender Review action.

As of June 30, 2015 the statewide successful completion rate was 59.5%; Probation Officers collected more than $75 million from probationers in restitution and other costs in FY 2014–15.

 

FY 2012–13 FY 2013–14 FY 2014–15
Restitution $31,580,757.89 $31,416,597 $32,136,509
Court Costs & Fines $14,729,756.68 $14,459,093 $14,933,969
Cost of Supervision $19,133,834.02 $19,727,146 $20,785,439
Other $7,237,747.83 $7,331,433 $7,253,727
Total $72,682,096.42 $72,713,666 $75,109,644
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