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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 Impact

Section 1. Use of Incarcerative Sanctions

GOAL: Use of incarcerative sanctions is prioritized toward offenders convicted of serious offenses and certain offenders who have long prior records, in order to maximize the finite capacities of state and local correctional facilities. F.S. 921.001(4)(a)7.

FACT: Serious offenders and non-violent offenders with long prior records represented a larger proportion of state prison admissions under the 1994 and 1995 versions of the guidelines compared to pre-1994 guidelines.

Prison Admissions

Offense Group

Pre-1994 Policy

1994/95 Policy

Violent

30.0%

39.2%

Property

34.2%

29.4%

Drug

31.0%

23.8%

Other

4.7%

7.6%

FINDINGS:

  • Overall, the proportion of violent offenses has dramatically increased, from 30.0% of prison admissions in FY 1992-93 to 39.2% in FY 1996-97 (Figure 1).

  • In line with the goals of the sentencing guidelines, the proportion of prison admissions for less serious drug offenses have decreased from 31.0% in FY 1992-93 to 23.8% in FY 1996-97 (Table 1).

  • Murder/Manslaughter offenses represented 4.5% of all state prison admissions in FY 1996-97, up from 3.9% in FY 1992-93 (Table 1).

  • Sexual/Lewd Assault offenses increased by 0.6% among those admitted to state prison, from 4.4% in FY 1992-93 to 5.0% in FY 1996-97 (Table 1).

  • Prison admissions of nonviolent, 3rd degree felony offenders have become more heavily focused on those with long prior prison records. For example, drug offenders with two or more prior prison sentences represented 42.2% of all 3rd degree felony convictions in FY 1996-97, up from 28.7% in FY 1992-93 (Table 2).

NOTE: The admissions from FY 1992-93 utilized for these analyses, include only cases with offense dates on or after 1/1/90. This restriction allows comparability to the 1994 guidelines structure which was in effect for offenses committed on or after January 1, 1994.

Figure 1
Distribution of Prison Admissions by Offense Group, Fiscal Year and Guidelines Policy - 39.2% Violent, 29.4% Property, 23.8% Drugs, 7.6% Other.
*Excludes Capital Cases.
** FY1992-93 includes only cases with offense dates on or after 1/1/90.

Table 1
 
Changes in Prison Admission Distributions * by Offense Type
for Sentencing Guidelines Policy in Effect
 
 
Offense Type FY 1992-93 Admissions Under Pre-1994 Guidelines Policy** FY1996-97 Admissions Under 94/95 Guidelines Policy Change in Distribution
Murder/Manslaughter 1,174 3.9% 799 4.5% +0.7%
Sexual/Lewd Assault 1,331 4.4% 885 5.0% +0.6%
Robbery 2,977 9.8% 1,994 11.3% +1.5%
Violent, Other 2,981 9.8% 2,727 15.5% +5.6%
Burglary 5,767 19.0% 3,696 21.0% +1.9%
Property Theft/Fraud/Damage 5,352 17.7% 1,827 10.4% -7.3%
Drugs 9,074 30.0% 4,187 23.8% -6.2%
Weapons 911 3.0% 788 4.5% +1.5%
Other 719 2.4% 707 4.0% +1.6%
Total 30,286 100.0% 17,610 100.0%  
*Excludes capital offenses.
**Offense Dates after 1/1/90.

 

Table 2
 
Current Prison Admissions for Non-Violent Offense Groups
by Prior Prison Record and Guidelines Policy
Third Degree Felony Offenses Only
FY 1992-93* and FY 1996-97
 
Property Offenses
 
Prior Prison Pre-94 Guidelines Policy 94/95 Guidelines Policy Change in
Record FY 1992-93 FY 1996-97 Percent
0 2,648 41.6% 848 38.7% -2.8%
1 1,500 23.5% 410 18.7% -4.8%
2 to 4 1,962 30.8% 738 33.7% +2.9%
5 or more 261 4.1% 194 8.9% +4.8%
Total 6,371 100.0% 2,190 100.0%  
 
Drug Offenses
 
Prior Prison Pre-94 Guidelines Policy 94/95 Guidelines Policy Change in
Record FY 1992-93 FY 1996-97 Percent
0 1,501 42.7% 305 26.9% -15.8%
1 878 25.0% 235 20.7% -4.2%
2 to 4 1,009 28.7% 478 42.2% +13.5%
5 or more 128 3.6% 115 10.2% +6.5%
Total 3,516 100.0% 1,133 100.0%  
 
Other Offenses
 
Prior Prison Pre-94 Guidelines Policy 94/95 Guidelines Policy Change in
Record FY 1992-93 FY 1996-97 Percent
0 284 55.9% 230 51.3% -4.6%
1 125 24.6% 94 21.0% -3.6%
2 to 4 93 18.3% 115 25.7% +7.4%
5 or more 6 1.2% 9 2.0% +0.8%
Total 508 100.0% 448 100.0%  
 
* FY 1992-93 figures include only cases sentenced in FY92-93 with offense dates on or after 1/1/90.