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

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Security and Institutional Management

A Quick Course in Gaintime

"Gaintime" is a tool the department uses to encourage satisfactory inmate behavior. Awards of gaintime are made according to statutory eligibility and the inmate's own behavior while in custody. It amounts to "time off" for good behavior. Gaintime has been in existence in Florida since 1889. It is awarded by the department, and can be forfeited for escape, violations of department rules or revocation of supervision programs. Basic and Incentive gaintime are the most common types of gaintime awarded. For more information about gaintime, contact Ron Kronenberger at (904) 413-9337.

Basic Gaintime (F.S. 944.275) was eliminated as part of the Safe Streets Act passed by the 1992-93 Legislature. It eliminates basic gaintime for all inmates who committed crimes on or after January 1, 1994, and are subsequently committed to the department. Previously, inmates sentenced for offenses committed after July 1, 1978 received 10 days of basic gaintime for each month of sentence imposed on them. Inmates serving life or certain minimum mandatory sentences are not eligible, regardless of their offense date.

Incentive Gaintime (F.S. 944.275(4)(b)) is awarded to inmates for adjustment, work and participation in programs. The awards are made on a monthly basis as earned unless prohibited by law, and the amount of the award varies in relation to the inmate's rated performance and adjustment. Inmates who committed crimes on or after January 1, 1994 may earn up to 25 days of incentive gaintime per month, if the crime of conviction falls within levels 1 through 7 of the revised sentencing guidelines. If the crime of conviction falls within levels 8-10, or the crime was committed after 1983 but before January 1, 1994, the inmate is only eligible for up to 20 days per month of incentive gaintime.

Effective for crimes committed on or after October 1, 1995, inmates are required to serve 85% of the sentence imposed. Satisfaction of 85% includes both time served in the county jail as well as state incarceration. Inmates who fall under this new provision are eligible to earn up to 10 days per month of incentive gain-time until such time as the tentative release date reaches that date which is equal to 85% of the sentence imposed. At that point, no further gain-time can be applied.

Meritorious Gaintime (F.S. 944.275(4)(c) may be awarded to an inmate for an outstanding deed. The maximum award is 60 days.

Educational (Achievement) Gaintime (F.S. 944.275(4)(d) may be awarded to an inmate who receives a General Education Development (GED) diploma or a certificate for completion of a vocational program. The inmate can receive a one-time award of 60 days.

Educational Gaintime (F.S. 944.275(2)(e) may be awarded to an inmate who satisfactorily completes the Mandatory Literacy Program, as determined by the institution's Education Program manager. It is a one-time award of six days.

(The 1996 Legislature made some minor modifications to eligibility for educational gain-time that become effective in FY 1996-97.)

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