Overview of Community Corrections
Community Corrections is responsible for the supervision of over 144,000 offenders under community supervision annually and almost 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 types of supervision and programs 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
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.Sex Offender Probation
Sex Offender Probation is designated for offenders placed on probation whose crimes were committed on or after October 1, 1995, and who are placed under supervision for violation of chapter 794 or s. 800.04, s. 827.071, or s. 847.0145. Per Florida Statute, the court must impose specific special conditions, as set forth in s. 948.03(5)(b), in addition to all other standard and special conditions imposed. Sex Offender Probation is designed to enhance the protection of the community and to require treatment/counseling for the offender. The offender is also required to submit two specimens of blood to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be registered with the DNA data bank.Community Control
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.Community Control - Sex Offender
Sex Offender Community Control is designated for offenders placed on probation whose crimes were committed on or after October 1, 1995, and who are placed under supervision for violation of chapter 794 or s. 800.04, s. 827.071, or s. 847.0145. Per Florida Statute, the court must impose specific special conditions, as set forth in s. 948.03(5)(b), in addition to all other standard and special conditions imposed. Sex Offender Community Control is designed to enhance the protection of the community and to require treatment/counseling for the offender. The offender is also required to submit two specimens of blood to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to be registered with the DNA data bank.Pretrial Intervention
Any individual who is charged with any non-violent third degree felony is eligible for 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.Pretrial Intervention - Drug Offender
Any person charged with a felony of the second or third degree for purchase or possession of a controlled substance under chapter 893, and who has not previously been convicted of a felony, nor been admitted to a pretrial program, is eligible for admission into a pretrial substance abuse education and treatment intervention program approved by the chief judge of the circuit, for a period of not less than one year. At the end of the pretrial intervention period, the court shall make a decision as to the disposition of the pending charges. The court shall determine, by written finding, whether the defendant has successfully completed the pretrial intervention program. Failure to successfully complete the program shall result in the continued prosecution of the case by the state attorney's office.
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. 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. There are currently 1,024 active Florida parolees, 1,412 parolees from other states under Florida supervision, and 5,897 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.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 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.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.
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.