Community Corrections is responsible for the supervision of over 142,000 offenders under community supervision annually and over 5,000 inmates on work release. Comprehensive community supervision comprises a multitude of human resources, programs, automation and communication systems, and specialized supervision approaches. The following is a brief overview of the programs and operations that make up this area of the Florida Department of Corrections.
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. The probationer is required to abide by all conditions ordered by the court. Violation of these conditions may result in revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence which it might have imposed before placing the offender on probation. The probationer is generally required to pay the cost of supervision to the state of Florida, and may have additional conditions requiring payment of restitution, court costs and fines, public service and various types of treatment.
The probationer is usually required to visit his supervising officer in the local field office at least once a month and depending on the probationer's status, the officer may visit the offender at his or her home and/or place of employment.
Administrative Probation is a form of non-contact supervision in which an offender who represents a low risk of harm to the community may, upon satisfactory completion of half the term of regular probation, be placed on non-reporting status until expiration of the term of supervision. The department is authorized to collect an initial processing fee of up to $50 for each offender reduced to administrative probation. Periodic record checks are completed to ensure the offender has not violated the law.
Drug Offender Probation
Drug Offender Probation is an intensive form of supervision which emphasizes treatment of drug offenders in accordance with individualized treatment plans. The program includes elements of surveillance and random drug testing. Contacts are made by correctional probation senior officers to ensure offenders remain drug free.
Community Control is a form of intensive supervised house arrest in the community, including surveillance on weekends and holidays, administered by officers with limited caseloads.
It is an individualized program in which the freedom of the offender is restricted within the community, home or non-institutional residential placement, and specified sanctions are imposed and enforced. As with probation, violation of any community control condition may result in revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence which 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 II (Electronic Monitoring)
The use of electronic monitoring as an enhancement to community control continues to receive judicial approval. Electronic monitoring exists in all twenty (20) judicial circuits. These units are monitored on a 24 hour a day basis by private vendors who immediately report all curfew violations to probation staff for further investigation.
Any individual who is charged with any non-violent third degree felony is eligible for release to the pretrial intervention program. Approval of the administrator and the consent of the victim, the state attorney, and the judge hearing the case are required in order to formally accept the offender into the program. If the offender completes all conditions of the program which could include restitution to the victim, counseling and/or community service, then the state attorney's office will not prosecute the case. Since the statute has been changed to allow any non-violent third degree felony as criteria for entrance into the program, PTI caseloads have steadily increased, as has the risk level of these offenders.
Parole is a post-prison supervision program where eligible inmates have the terms and conditions of parole set by the Florida Parole Commission. Parole supervision is provided by the Department of Corrections. There are currently 1,056 active Florida parolees, 1,468 parolees from other states under Florida supervision, and 6,036 Florida inmates eligible for parole.
Parole is a conditional extension of the limits of confinement after an offender has served part of his sentence. The period of parole cannot exceed the balance of the sentence. Under parole, the offender is to be supervised in the community under specific conditions. Although Florida no longer has parole except for those offenders sentenced for offenses committed prior to October 1, 1983, caseloads have increased. These increases are attributed to other state cases which have transferred for supervision within Florida.
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 the release date with accrued gaintime, an inmate is placed on conditional release to serve up to the remainder of the length of sentence. A conditional release eligible inmate often accrues less gaintime than other inmates due to the nature of the offense. Conditional release is not technically an "early release" mechanism as it merely provides for post release supervision for those considered serious offenders for up to the amount of gaintime accrued.
Community Work Release
Community Work Release is a program designed to facilitate the transition of an inmate from prison to the community. This program allows selected minimum custody inmates, who are within 24 months of their release date, to work at paid employment. They earn a salary, pay restitution, subsistence, fines and court fees, provide support for their dependents and meet other monetary obligations. While in the community work release program, inmates receive counseling in substance abuse, parenting skills, GED, Lifeskills, as well as participate in voluntary public work programs for non profit agencies. Approximately 5,000 inmates participate in the community release program annually.
Bradenton Drug Treatment Center
The Bradenton Drug Treatment Center operates as a residential therapeutic community treatment program housing approximately 70 youthful offenders and is located in Manatee County. The program is designed to address the needs of offenders who have been sanctioned to probation or community control and have been identified as having a chronic substance abuse problem. It is designed to address the substance abuse treatment needs of 16-24 year old male offenders. The program is broken into three treatment components with Phase I of the program operating through a cooperative effort between the Florida Department of Corrections staff and the contract treatment staff of Operation Par Inc. Phase I is six months in duration, with offenders progressing through a rigorous treatment regiment in which they acknowledge their addiction and learn skills that will help them manage their substance abuse problems.
Some of the components of Phase I include anger management, problem solving skills, stress management, parenting skills, financial planning, leisure skills, and relapse intervention groups.
Phase II is three to six months of residential treatment in a non-secure facility operated by Operation Par Inc. This phase provides the offender with transitional housing, as well as continued substance abuse treatment programming. Offenders in Phase II prepare themselves for life in the community through a transition based curriculum. Upon completion of Phase II, offenders progress to Phase III of the treatment continuum. Phase III lasts from six to nine months and consists of community supervision, job development, education andvocational training, and continued outpatient aftercare substance abuse treatment.
Other Post-Prison Releases
Other types of post-prison release supervision include control release, administrative control release, provisional release, supervised community release, conditional pardons and county work release. These types are not used as often, in part, because of adequate numbers of prison beds.
Probation and Restitution Center
A Probation and Restitution Center is a court ordered residential program for selected offenders on probation or community control who require specialized or more intense supervision. Most offenders involved in the program are between the ages of 17 to 24 years of age, are sentenced for non violent felony offenses and are unstable in their residence and/or are behind on payment of their monetary obligations. The program length of stay averages six months for most offenders. A Probation and Restitution Center deters an offender from incarceration by providing opportunities in behavior modification, substance abuse treatment, employability skills, counseling, education/vocational opportunities and community service, while allowing the offender to stabilize and maintain employment. By maintaining employment, an offender can effectively address court ordered monetary obligations.Top of page
The supervision admission population consists of all offenders beginning supervision through specific court placement or by other assignment to a community-based program as a condition of prison release.
For any specified date, the community supervision status population consists of all offenders actively under supervision and those on supervision caseloads but temporarily unavailable for direct supervision because of known and designated reasons, such as hospitalization, incarceration, etc.
Statistics on the status population are those for June 30, the final day of the fiscal year.
The community supervision release population consists of all offenders permanently removed from a specific term of supervision in the Florida Department of Corrections due to satisfaction of the sentence, return to another state, death, or revocation.Top of page