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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

For Immediate Release
August 21, 2001
For More Information
Contact: Public Affairs Office
(850) 488-0420

Florida Prison Inmates
Serving Average 82.8% of Sentences

"Inmates today are serving two and a half times more of their sentences than they did a decade ago," said Michael W. Moore, Secretary of the Florida Department of Corrections. "If you're convicted and sentenced to prison in Florida today, you will serve at least 85% of your sentence."

Inmates who were released from Florida prisons in June 2001 served an average of 82.8% of their sentences, compared to just 33.9% of their sentences 10 years ago. Florida prison inmates have not served more than 80 percent of their prison sentences in more than two decades, at least. (These statistics have only been kept over the past two decades.) With the elimination of parole in 1983 and the implementation of the minimum 85% of sentence served law in 1995, Floridians can truly say to criminals, "you do the crime, you do the time."

Average Percent of Sentence Served
June 1991- June 2001
(All Offenders Released June 30 Each Year)

Line Graph showing 33.9% in 1991 with climb to 82.8% in 2001

The increase in inmate time served has escalated over the years primarily due to the implementation of the 85% law and Florida's commitment to building the necessary prison beds. This law requires inmates who committed crimes on or after October 1, 1995 to serve a minimum of 85% of their sentences. The law applies to all inmates, from murderers to drug dealers, regardless of the type of crime they committed. Inmates may actually serve more than 85 percent of their sentences by losing gain time for disobeying prison rules. Most inmates are eligible to earn up to 15% off their sentences for good behavior in prison.

Most of the inmates in Florida prisons on June 30, 2001 were sentenced under the 85% rule. Of the 72,007 inmates in prison on June 30, 2001, over half of them (63% or 45,396) were sentenced under the 85% law and will be serving at least that long in prison.

There were 2,194 inmates released from Florida prisons in July 2001, They served, on average, 37.8 months or slightly more than three years in prison. Of the 2,194 inmates released that month, 761 or 34.6% were violent offenders. The average number of months served by violent offenders released in July 2001 was 51.1 months, or more than four years.

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