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

Florida Department of Corrections
Timothy H. Cannon, Interim Secretary

Part II: Offense to Sentence Date Lag Time Comparison

FACT:Scoresheets that have been received by the Department of Corrections for offenders sentenced under the Florida Criminal Punishment Code are not representative of the true impact of sentencing events under the Code.

FINDINGS:

  • There were 81,205 scoresheets submitted to the Department of Corrections with sentence dates in FY2009-2010 and offense dates on or after October 1, 2008. The number of scoresheets submitted to the Department of Corrections with sentence dates in FY2008-2009 and offense dates on or after October 1, 2007 was 90,171.

  • Lag Time - The average length of time that passes from the date an offender commits a crime to the date the offender is sentenced for that crime is 6.0 months for sentencing events in FY2009-2010 (Table 1).

  • More serious and violent crimes typically have much longer lag time than the less serious property or drug crimes. A data file that is constrained by the date of offense must allow for enough time for the serious and violent crimes to be processed and convicted in order to represent a true distribution of sentencing events. The Florida Criminal Punishment Code went into effect for offenses committed on or after October 1, 1998. As of September 1, 2010, the Department of Corrections had received 1,899,968 Code scoresheets. However, because of the long lag time for serious offenses, the information to date is skewed more heavily by the less serious offenses.

  • The average lag time for FY2008-2009 sentencing events is 5.9 months. When the lag times are examined by offense severity level and type of primary offense, the average lag time for level 10 offenses (most serious) was 9.8 months for sentencing events during FY2008-2009. In FY2009-2010, the average lag time for level 10 offenses was 10.4 months. Also, for murder/manslaughter, the average lag time from offense to sentence is 10.5 months for sentencing dates in FY2008-2009 and 11.0 months for FY2009-2010 (Table 2).

  • Drug offenses comprised the largest group of scoresheets received in both FY2008-2009 (35.2%) and FY2009-2010 (35.0%) (Table 3).

  • The more violent, serious offenses represented 15.6% of the scoresheets in FY2008-2009 and 17.0% in FY2009-2010 (Table 3).

Table 1 Comparison of Average Time from Offense Date to Sentence Date by Offense Severity Level of Primary Offense, in Months

Offense Severity Level FY2008-2009 Sentence Dates1 FY2009-2010 Sentence Dates2
1 5.3 5.1
2 6.0 6.1
3 5.2 5.3
4 5.8 5.8
5 6.2 6.3
6 6.6 6.6
7 7.4 7.4
8 8.5 8.5
9 9.1 9.3
10 9.8 10.4
Overall Average 5.9 6.0
1 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2004.
2 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2005.

Table 2 Comparison of Average "Lag" Time from Offense Date to Sentence Date by Primary Offense, in Months

Primary Offense FY2008-2009 Sentence Dates1 FY2009-2010 Sentence Dates2
Murder/Manslaughter 10.5 11.0
Sexual/Lewd Behavior 9.5 9.4
Robbery 7.5 7.6
Violent, Other 6.4 6.4
Burglary 6.1 6.3
Property Theft/Fraud/Damage 6.2 6.2
Drugs 5.5 5.6
Weapons 5.9 6.0
Other 5.4 5.2
Overall Average 5.9 6.0
1 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2004.
2 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2005.

Figure 1 Distribution of Offense Group Sentence Dates in FY2008-2009 vs. FY2009-2010

Distribution of Offense Group, Sentence Dates FY 2008-2009 vs. Sentence Dates FY 2009-2010

Table 3 Distribution of Offense Sentence Dates FY 2008-2009 vs. Sentence Dates FY 2009-2010

Primary Offense FY2008-2009 Sentence Dates1 FY2009-2010 Sentence Dates2
Murder/Manslaughter 279 240
0.3% 0.3%
Sexual Offenses 609 616
0.7% 0.8%
Robbery 2,646 2,462
2.9% 3.0%
Violent Personal Offenses 10,377 10,352
11.5% 12.7%
Burglary 9,924 10,035
11.0% 12.4%
Theft/Forgery/Fraud 19,419 17,129
21.5% 21.1%
Drugs 31,750 28,445
35.2% 35.0%
Weapons 2,760 2,512
3.1% 3.1%
Other 12,407 9,414
13.8% 11.6%
Total 90,171 81,205
100.0% 100.0%
1 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2007.
2 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2008.

Table 4 Distribution of Offense

Primary Offense FY2008-2009 Sentence Dates1 FY2009-2010 Sentence Dates2
Murder/Manslaughter 279 0.3% 240 0.3%
1st Degree Murder 50 0.1% 56 0.1%
2nd Degree Murder 99 0.1% 90 0.1%
3rd Degree Murder 8 0.0% 8 0.0%
Homicide, Other 5 0.0% 2 0.0%
Manslaughter 74 0.1% 40 0.0%
DUI Manslaughter 43 0.0% 44 0.1%
Sexual Offenses 609 0.7% 616 0.8%
Capital Sexual Battery 27 0.0% 32 0.0%
Life Sexual Battery 32 0.0% 31 0.0%
1st Degree Sexual Battery 27 0.0% 32 0.0%
2nd Degree Sexual Battery 96 0.1% 83 0.1%
Sexual Assault, Other 5 0.0% 7 0.0%
Lewd/Lascivious Behavior 422 0.5% 431 0.5%
Robbery 2,646 2.9% 2,462 3.0%
Robbery with Weapon 955 1.1% 947 1.2%
Robbery without Weapon 1,536 1.7% 1,382 1.7%
Home Invasion, Robbery 155 0.2% 133 0.2%
Violent Personal Offenses 10,377 11.5% 10,352 12.7%
Home Invasion, Other 104 0.1% 97 0.1%
Carjacking 1,474 1.6% 1,553 1.9%
Aggravated Assault 1,115 1.2% 1,076 1.3%
Aggravated Battery 1,269 1.4% 1,258 1.5%
Assault/Battery on L.E.O. 843 0.9% 954 1.2%
Assault/Battery, Other 174 0.2% 196 0.2%
Aggravated Stalking 1,503 1.7% 1,478 1.8%
Resisting Arrest with Violence 324 0.4% 304 0.4%
Kidnapping 150 0.2% 159 0.2%
Arson 901 1.0% 788 1.0%
Abuse of Children 2,041 2.3% 2,030 2.5%
Violent, Other 350 0.4% 364 0.4%
Leaving Accident, Injury/Death 95 0.1% 69 0.1%
DUI, Injury 34 0.0% 26 0.0%
Burglary 9,924 11.0% 10,035 12.4%
Burglary, Structure 5,812 6.4% 5,394 6.6%
Burglary, Dwelling 2,943 3.3% 3,580 4.4%
Burglary, Armed 246 0.3% 268 0.3%
Burglary with Assault 235 0.3% 233 0.3%
Burglary/Trespass, Other 688 0.8% 560 0.7%
Theft/Forgery/Fraud 19,419 21.5% 17,129 21.1%
Grand Theft, Other 7,671 8.5% 6,476 8.0%
Grand Theft, Automobile 1,813 2.0% 1,466 1.8%
Stolen Property 2,688 3.0% 2,661 3.3%
Forgery/Counterfeiting 2,937 3.3% 2,391 2.9%
Worthless Checks 281 0.3% 204 0.3%
Fraudulent Practices 2,245 2.5% 1,994 2.5%
Theft/Property Damage, Other 1,784 2.0% 1,937 2.4%
Drugs 31,750 35.2% 28,445 35.0%
Drugs, Manufacture/Sale/Purchase 9,463 10.5% 9,219 11.4%
Drugs, Trafficking 1,322 1.5% 1,381 1.7%
Drugs, Possession/Other 20,965 23.3% 17,845 22.0%
Weapons 2,760 3.1% 2,512 3.1%
Weapons, Discharging 247 0.3% 230 0.3%
Weapons, Possession 2,511 2.8% 2,282 2.8%
Weapons, Other 2 0.0% 0 0.0%
Other 12,407 13.8% 9,414 11.6%
Escape 2,484 2.8% 2,133 2.6%
DUI, No Injury 888 1.0% 782 1.0%
Traffic, Other 6,096 6.8% 3,696 4.6%
Racketeering 13 0.0% 9 0.0%
Pollution/Hazardous Materials 55 0.1% 54 0.1%
Criminal Justice System 2,343 2.6% 2,184 2.7%
Other 528 0.6% 556 0.7%
Total 90,171 100.0% 81,205 100.0%
1 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2007.
2 Offense dates on or after October 1, 2008.