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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Goal 1-2: Supervise offenders safely and effectively in the community.

Trends And Conditions Analysis (TCA)

Meticulously and safely supervising 144,733 offenders under community supervision and 2,200 inmates on work release in communities throughout Florida is an absolute necessity to ensure public safety.

When an offender is placed on community supervision, a Correctional Probation Officer (CPO) is expected to hold the offender accountable for behavior in the community. The CPO reports any new law violations, and ensures compliance with all general and special orders of supervision. Doing this safely, effectively, and simultaneously keeping the sentencing/releasing authority advised of the offender's progress is critical to our success.

Officers face two major challenges in keeping the public safe. First, we need to reduce the number of offenders who leave our control and whose whereabouts are unknown, (absconders). In addition, we must lower the number of offenders placed in prison (revocations) when community supervision is the suitable option for their offense. Community supervision is always less expensive than prison. By keeping prison beds available for the most dangerous offenders, we are improving public safety and saving public funds. The second challenge is looking for ways to lower the number of new crimes committed by offenders on community supervision or in a community facility.

These are our absconded and revoked numbers for the last five fiscal years:

  FY 93-94 FY 94-95 FY 95-96 FY 96-97 FY 97-98
Absconded* 18,285 15,380 13,443 13,487 13,404
Revoked 41,309 44,459 45,201 45,072 46,164
Total 59,594 59,839 58,644 58,559 59,568
*Absconded numbers do not include those offenders returning from absconder status. Approximately 1000 offenders return to our supervision from absconding status each month. Numbers above reflect those who were determined to have absconded during each FY.

Absconding numbers generally show a decreasing trend over the past five fiscal years while revocation rates and our population has steadily increased.

These are our new offense numbers for the past five fiscal years based on the number of new arrest violation reports filed:

  FY 93-94 FY 94-95 FY 95-96 FY 96-97 FY 97-98
New arrest
violation
reports
27,336 30,128 28,444 28,437 29,075

The number of violation reports citing a new arrest has increased over the past five fiscal years. The population has also steadily increased.

Floridians expect to be safe in their communities and they demand those convicted of crimes be held accountable, by being punished, paying restitution, and not re-offending. To keep this commitment, the department must develop initiatives to reduce absconding, revocations, and new crimes committed.

In the past, an offender was supervised by a time driven formula, not taking into account the offender's criminal history or type of offense for which they are presently on supervision. For the first six months, a certain number of contacts were required on each case. Then for the next three months, a reduced number of contacts were required and finally after those initial nine months, the case would be in the minimum category where required field and office contacts were even less frequent. A statistically reliable risk of re-offending was never measured. In addition, an offender was not afforded the full array of today's community-based programs like substance abuse treatment, education, or job placement. These two approaches, risk assessment and program needs, are essential to achieving safe and effective community supervision. These approaches become more critical when one looks at a growing offender population and the September 98 Criminal Justice Estimating Conference offender population projections. Both showing increasing trends:

OFFENDER POPULATION

  1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998

Males

80,597 88,518 92,973 100,584 105,905 108,733 109,933 110,167 113,647 113,849

Females

18,456 20,389 21,794 23,445 24,035 24,933 26,123 27,444 29,444 30,884

Totals:

99,053 108,907 114,767 124,029 129,940 133,666 136,056 137,611 142,911 144,733

Offenders in community supervision increased (1.3%) from 142,911 in 1997 to 144, 733 in 1998.9

CJEC Supervised
Population Projection

FY 98-99 FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03
128,265 128,732 129,526 130,780 131,640

· Because the September 1998 CJEC supervised populations projections do not incorporate all of the population types used by the department there is a mismatch between actual and projected populations.

On the risk assessment front, a new statewide-automated offenders risk classification system is being fine-tuned and staff trained to use it. This system enables us to more effectively use our resources and pinpoint supervision of an offender at the risk level posed to the community and the supervising CPO.

A correctional probation officer enhances public safety by being on the streets supervising offenders closely, constantly, and accurately in the community. To improve this capability, the department is pursuing a pilot test of the Probation Officer's Workstation (POW). POW automates offender case management through monitoring and documenting an offender's compliance with court/release authority orders, making an offender less of a threat in the community. POW advises the officer of high-risk contact requirements, program participation needs, urinalysis requirements, monetary obligations, etc. Offender information is on a live, statewide accessible database that improves investigative crossfeeds, data gathering for new offenses or technical violations if they occur. POW improves the officer's time management and case documentation accuracy and gets the CPO out of the office and on the community streets quicker.

Florida experienced a 3.8 percent decrease in the overall volume of index crimes (murder, forcible sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft) compared to the 1997 semi-annual crime statistics.


Objectives and Strategies

Objective 1-2.1:

Reduce the percentage of offenders who revoked or absconded from supervision from a baseline of 38.4% and 4.4% (FY 95-96) respectively to 36% and 4% by June 2004

Note: Legislative Budget Request 4, Close Risks Supervision supports this objective.

Projection Table
  FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03 FY 03-04
Revoked 37.9% 37.4% 36.9% 36.4% 36%
Absconded 4.3% 4.2% 4.1% 4.08% 4.0%


Strategies:

  1. Supervise 75 percent of the eligible community supervised population under the intensive or close protocol, under the offender risk classification designation. Lead Unit: Community Corrections
  2. Ensure a correctional probation specialist supervises all cases currently in close status. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support Units: Administration, Executive Services
  3. Construct an integrated and automated offender needs assessment system that has appropriate linkage to the automated offender risk classification system. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support Unit: Executive Services
  4. Establish new training and enhance existing training to accomplish objective. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support Unit: Executive Services
  5. Maintain and strengthen partnerships with state attorneys, clerks of the court, sentencing judges and other criminal justice agencies. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support Unit: Executive Services
  6. Increase percent of offenders provided "Client Management Classification" assessment from current level. Lead Unit: Community Corrections
  7. Increase number of monthly personal contacts with offenders supervised in the community. Lead Unit: Community Corrections

Objective 1-2.2: Reduce the new offenses committed while an offender is on community supervision or in a community program/facility by 2%(570) from baseline of 28,444* (FY 1995-96) by June 2004.


Note: Legislative Budget Request 10, Microcomputer and local areas Network (SAN) Systems; Field Officer Security and Communications Systems, supports this objective.

Projection Table
FY 99-00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03 FY 03-04
28,330 28,216 28,102 27,988 27,874

Strategies:

  1. Provide suitable programs (educational, substance abuse, mental health) for identified offenders. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support Unit: Administration
  2. Improve transition linkages as offenders are released into the community. Lead Units: Community Corrections, Security and Institutional Management; Support Unit: Administration
  3. Monitor and supervise all offenders with an automated offender case management system. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support unit: Executive Services
  4. Implement the Probation Officer Workstation (POW) automated case management system. Lead Unit: Community Corrections; Support unit: Executive Services