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

Florida Department of Corrections
Michael D. Crews, Secretary

Major Findings

The tables and charts in this report detail how time served for offenders sentenced to Florida's prisons has changed over the past two decades. However, the following are some of the most salient facts the figures reveal.

Section 1: All Crimes

Comparing actual prison time served for all offenders from July 1, 1979 to June 30, 2004 results in the following conclusions:

Offenders who have been sentenced to prison under the current minimum 85% of sentence served policy will, on average, serve a significantly longer period of time in prison than at any time over the past 15 years. The average prison sentence under this policy will result in 4.0 years of incarceration compared to 1.6 years under the court ordered capacity limits of the mid 1980's and early 1990's.

Offenders sentenced to prison in the latest fiscal year (2003-04) will serve longer prison terms than any year over the past two decades. In fact, actual time served has increased by 150% (1.6 years to 4.0 years) from FY1988-1989 to FY2003-04.

Of the inmates sentenced under the current 85% of sentence served policy, 7.6% will serve more than 10 years in prison compared to 4.4% under the parole system, 3.2% when early prison release existed, and 5.9% under the 1994 sentencing guidelines (chart 3).

Table 1
All Crimes
Prison Time Served in Years for New Admissions
By Fiscal Year: FY 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Punishment Policies Fiscal Year* Average Prison Time Served Median Prison Time Served Average Percentage of Sentence Served* Average Sentence Length (Years)* Number of Cases*
Indeterminate Parole Policy 1979/1980 3.8 2.1 64.2 4.9 5,339
1980/1981 3.5 2.1 62.9 4.9 6,815
1981/1982 3.7 1.9 59.0 4.8 10,221
1982/1983 3.4 1.7 53.5 4.6 11,377
1983 Sentencing: Significant Gaintime 1983/1984 3.0 1.5 54.8 6.7 9,922
1984/1985 2.7 1.4 54.9 6.5 11,877
1985/1986 2.5 1.3 51.2 7.0 14,690
Early Prison Release Due To Court Ordered Capacity Limits 1986/1987 2.0 1.0 44.4 6.8 20,526
1987/1988 1.7 0.8 37.8 5.7 27,444
1988/1989 1.6 0.7 34.9 4.8 36,776
1989/1990 2.0 0.8 36.3 4.8 40,812
1990/1991 2.5 1.0 39.9 4.3 34,104
1991/1992 2.6 0.8 36.5 4.0 19,821
1992/1993 2.8 1.0 38.3 4.1 25,865
1993/1994 3.2 1.3 43.7 4.7 21,832
1994 Guidelines: Reduced Gaintime 1994/1995 3.9 2.0 62.2 5.3 17,958
1995/1996 3.8 1.9 69.7 5.7 17,938
Determinate: Minimum 85% Sentence Served 1996/1997 4.1 2.2 77.3 6.0 19,459
1997/1998 4.3 2.2 80.5 6.3 20,498
1998/1999 4.3 2.1 82.6 6.1 21,940
1999/2000 4.3 2.0 83.9 5.5 24,245
2000/2001 4.2 2.0 84.9 5.5 24,330
2001/2002 4.2 2.0 85.1 5.5 24,836
2002/2003 4.2 2.0 85.6 5.3 27,871
2003/2004 4.0 1.9 87.2 5.1 30,680
* See Methodology

Chart 1
All Crimes
Average Prison Time Served in Years for New Admissions
Under Different Sentencing Policies: FY 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Chart that shows average prison time served in years for new admissions under different sentencing policies.  Numbers ranged from 3.6 to 4.2

Chart 2
All Crimes
Average Prison Time Served in Years for New Admissions
By Fiscal Year: FY 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Chart shows Average prison time served in years for new admissions by fiscal years.  Number fell from 3.8 in 1979 to 1.6 in 1988, then rose back to 4.0 in 2004.

Chart 3
All Crimes
Percent of Prison Admissions Serving More Than 10 Years
Under Different Sentencing Policies: FY 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Chart shows Percent of prison admissions serving more than 10 years under different sentencing policies.  Rose from 4.4% from 1979-1983 to 7.6% from 1996-2004.

Chart 4
All Crimes
Percent of Prison Admissions Serving More Than 10 Years
By Fiscal Year: FY 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Chart shows percent of prison admissions serving more than 10 years by fiscal year.  Number rose from 4.6% in 1979 to 7.4% in 2004.

Table 2
All Crimes
Distribution of Prison Time Served for New Admissions
By Fiscal Year: Fiscal Years 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Punishment Policies Fiscal Year Percent
1 to 6
Months
Percent
+6 to 12
Months
Percent
+1 to 2
Years
Percent
+2 to 3
Years
Percent
+3 to 5
Years
Percent
+5 to 10
Years
Percent
+10 to 20
Years
Percent
+20
Years
Indeterminate Parole Policy 1979/1980 1.6% 10.8% 34.8% 23.4% 16.6% 8.1% 2.2% 2.4%
1980/1981 1.8% 11.2% 34.2% 26.9% 13.5% 8.4% 1.9% 2.0%
1981/1982 1.4% 15.2% 36.7% 21.0% 11.9% 9.1% 2.3% 2.4%
1982/1983 1.8% 20.3% 35.6% 17.8% 11.8% 8.5% 2.0% 2.3%
1983 Sentencing Guidelines with Reduced Gaintime 1983/1984 1.2% 23.3% 37.5% 17.5% 10.9% 6.1% 1.5% 2.0%
1984/1985 1.0% 28.5% 38.8% 15.3% 9.9% 3.8% 1.2% 1.6%
1985/1986 4.4% 29.7% 38.2% 12.8% 8.6% 3.5% 1.3% 1.5%
Early Prison Release Due to Court Ordered Capacity Limits 1986/1987 11.6% 37.4% 31.1% 8.4% 6.2% 2.9% 1.3% 1.1%
1987/1988 23.4% 38.3% 23.3% 5.9% 4.4% 2.8% 1.0% 0.9%
1988/1989 25.4% 39.2% 21.0% 5.1% 4.1% 3.2% 1.2% 0.8%
1989/1990 20.8% 37.4% 22.0% 6.7% 5.6% 4.5% 1.9% 1.1%
1990/1991 16.1% 34.6% 22.4% 9.1% 7.9% 6.0% 2.5% 1.4%
1991/1992 23.7% 31.4% 17.3% 9.2% 7.3% 6.9% 2.6% 1.8%
1992/1993 17.7% 30.8% 20.0% 9.7% 9.1% 8.1% 2.8% 1.9%
1993/1994 10.6% 28.3% 22.0% 13.3% 12.2% 8.6% 2.8% 2.3%
1994 Guidelines Reduced Gaintime 1994/1995 1.7% 13.6% 33.6% 19.1% 16.3% 9.8% 3.2% 2.8%
1995/1996 0.3% 14.4% 35.4% 18.8% 15.6% 9.3% 3.4% 2.6%
Determinate: Minimum 85% Sentence Served 1996/1997 0.4% 11.7% 33.1% 18.8% 18.2% 10.9% 3.9% 2.9%
1997/1998 0.3% 10.7% 32.4% 20.1% 18.1% 10.6% 4.3% 3.4%
1998/1999 0.5% 12.1% 33.2% 19.7% 16.5% 10.2% 4.3% 3.6%
1999/2000 0.5% 11.6% 35.8% 19.0% 15.8% 9.3% 4.5% 3.6%
2000/2001 0.6% 13.2% 35.3% 19.1% 15.3% 8.7% 4.4% 3.4%
2001/2002 0.7% 13.0% 36.0% 18.2% 15.1% 9.3% 4.5% 3.4%
2002/2003 0.7% 14.0% 35.4% 18.2% 14.8% 9.1% 4.5% 3.4%
2003/2004 0.5% 14.0% 36.7% 17.9% 14.5% 8.9% 4.4% 3.2%

Table 3
All Crimes
Average Prison Time Served in Years By:
Violent, Property, and Drug Crimes
Fiscal Years 1979-1980 to 2003-2004
Punishment Policies Year of Admission Violent Property Drug
Indeterminate Parole Policy 1979/1980 6.3 2.1 1.7
1980/1981 5.7 2.1 1.8
1981/1982 6.5 2.0 1.8
1982/1983 6.2 1.9 1.8
1983 Sentencing Guidelines with Reduced Gaintime 1983/1984 5.4 1.6 1.8
1984/1985 4.7 1.4 1.6
1985/1986 4.5 1.3 1.5
Early Prison Release Due to Court Ordered Capacity Limits 1986/1987 4.0 1.1 1.2
1987/1988 3.5 0.9 1.0
1988/1989 3.6 1.0 0.9
1989/1990 4.3 1.3 1.2
1990/1991 5.0 1.5 1.4
1991/1992 5.5 1.5 1.3
1992/1993 5.8 1.6 1.3
1993/1994 6.1 2.0 1.5
1994/1995 6.5 2.5 2.0
1994 Guidelines Reduced Gaintime 1995/1996 6.1 2.4 2.0
1996/1997 6.4 2.7 2.4
Determinate: Minimum 85% Sentence Served 1997/1998 6.8 2.9 2.4
1998/1999 7.2 2.9 2.4
1999/2000 7.4 3.0 2.4
2000/2001 7.2 2.9 2.4
2001/2002 7.3 2.8 2.5
2002/2003 7.3 2.8 2.6
2003/2004 7.1 2.8 2.5