Florida Department of Corrections by alicejenny

VIEWS: 12 PAGES: 21

									Senate Criminal Justice Committee
         October 7, 2009


       Walter A. McNeil, Secretary
    Florida Department of Corrections
Violations of Probation
          Probation Officer Responsibilities
• Probation Officers monitor and enforce conditions of
  supervision.

• It is the officer’s responsibility to notify the court whenever
  the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation
  of any condition of supervision has occurred.

• Officers notify the court of violations by sending the court a
  warrant, affidavit, and violation report or by sending the
  court a technical violation notification letter.
               Violations of Probation

• New arrests (felony, misdemeanor, criminal traffic)

• Technical violations
  –   Not reporting as required or instructed
  –   Moving without permission
  –   Positive drug test
  –   Failure to attend evaluation or treatment
  –   Having contact with the victim
  –   Failure to comply with curfew
  –   Failure to pay victim restitution
             Violations of Probation

• Florida caselaw provides that violations of probation
  must be willful and substantial.

• Historically, probation officers used their judgment
  as to whether an offender’s violation was willful or
  substantial in determining whether to file a
  violation.
                    Zero Tolerance


March 2003 - The Department announced a zero tolerance
policy due to inconsistencies found statewide in reporting
violations.

Under the zero tolerance policy, probation officers were
required to report all alleged violations of probation to the
court, regardless of whether the officer felt that the violation
was willful or substantial.
            Elimination of Zero Tolerance
• Early 2006 – The Department’s policies regarding reporting violations
  changed.

• Probation officers were once again permitted to use their judgment as
  to whether a violation was willful or substantial in determining
  whether to file a violation.

• Officers were also required to include in the violation report a
  recommendation as to how the court should dispose of the violation.

• Throughout 2007, every probation officer and supervisor was
  provided training to ensure officers were reporting violations of
  probation consistent with the new policies.
 Technical Violation Notification Letters

• June 2007 – Senate Bill 1792
  – Authorized courts to accept a “Technical Violation
    Notification Letter” in lieu of a warrant, affidavit, and
    violation report.

• Approximately ¾ of judges statewide have
  authorized the Department to submit technical
  violation notification letters.
                            Impact
• The elimination of zero tolerance, the increased use of
  “Technical Violation Notification” letters, and requiring
  violation disposition recommendations has had a significant
  positive impact.

    Violations are being handled without arrests and use of
    jail beds.
    Prison admissions due to technical violations decreased
    by 19% (1,971 offenders) in FY 08-09.
    Equates to more than a $39 million savings.
EARLY TERMINATION
  OF PROBATION
                   Early Termination
•   Section 948.04(3), Florida Statutes
      If the probationer has performed satisfactorily, has not been found in
      violation of any terms or conditions of supervision, and has met all
      financial sanctions imposed by the court, including, but not limited to,
      fines, court costs, and restitution, the Department of Corrections may
      recommend early termination of probation to the court at any time
      before the scheduled termination date.

•   Although the statute provided that recommendations for early
    termination of supervision may occur at any time, Department
    procedure was more restrictive.
•   Department procedure required offenders to serve at least 18
    months or 1/2 of the supervision period, whichever was greater,
    before an officer could recommend early termination.
                 Early Termination

• In November 2008, the Department revised its early
  termination policies to require that offenders serve at least
  1/2 of their supervision period before an officer could
  recommend early termination.
• In late 2008, the Department conducted a statewide review
  of each probation case to determine whether an offender
  was eligible for early termination.
• As a result, the number of early terminations has doubled
  over the past year.
                      Impact


• The Department’s revised early termination policies
  have greatly contributed to increasing the offender
  supervision success rate.
     January, 2007         29.4%
     July, 2009            44.1%
SENATE BILL 1722
  Sections 1 and 2
                 SB 1722 – Section 1
•   Created s. 775.082(10), Florida Statutes
    – If a defendant is sentenced for an offense committed on
      or after July 1, 2009, which is a third degree felony but
      not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, and
      excluding any third degree felony violation under
      chapter 810, and if the total sentence points are 22
      points or fewer, the court must sentence the offender to
      a non-state prison sanction.

    – Court can sentence to prison if the court makes written
      findings that a non-state prison sanction could present a
      danger to the public.
                 SB 1722 – Section 1

• CJIC estimated that if 50% of eligible offenders were
  diverted from state prison, there would be 329 fewer prison
  admissions this fiscal year.
       $3.3 million savings (annual operating costs)
• Over a five-year period, CJIC estimated that there would be
  962 fewer prison admissions.
       $69.3M million savings (annual operating costs)
                  SB 1722 – Section 2
• Creates the Prison Diversion Program (s. 921.00241, F.S.)
• Effective for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2009, a
  court may sentence offenders who meet the following
  criteria to a non-state prison sanction:
   – The offender's primary offense is a felony of the third degree.
   – The offender's total sentence points score is not more than 48
     points, or the offender's total sentence points score is 54 points and
     6 of those points are for a violation of supervision and do not
     involve a new violation of law.
   – The offender has not been convicted or previously convicted of a
     forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, but excluding any third
     degree felony violation under chapter 810.
   – The offender's primary offense does not require a minimum
     mandatory sentence.
                  SB 1722 – Section 2
• If the court elects to sentence a person to a non-state prison
  sanction, the court shall sentence the offender to a term of
  supervision with mandatory participation in a prison
  diversion program.

• The prison diversion program shall be designed to meet the
  unique needs of each judicial circuit and of the offender
  population of that circuit. The prison diversion program
  may require residential, nonresidential, or day-reporting
  requirements; substance abuse treatment; employment;
  restitution; academic or vocational opportunities; or
  community service work.
                   SB 1722 – Section 2
• $700,143 appropriation to establish two pilot programs.
• Worked with local judges and community organizations to
  establish pilot programs in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties
      • Hillsborough program started September 1, 2009
      • Pinellas program started October 1, 2009
• Program duration is 6 months to 1 year and consists of a
  myriad of services that target the individualized needs of the
  offender.
      • Employment assistance, vocational programs, substance
        abuse treatment, help with family issues, behavior
        counseling and support, anger management, etc.
                   SB 1722 – Section 2
• CJIC estimated that if the Prison Diversion Program were
  implemented statewide and if 2.5% of the eligible
  population were diverted from prison, there would be 62
  fewer prison admissions this fiscal year
      $622,046 savings (annual operating costs)
• Over a 5-year period, CJIC estimated that there would be
  229 fewer prison admissions
      $4.9 million savings (annual operating costs)
• Prison Diversion is not statewide – currently only operating
  in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
   Walter A. McNeil, Secretary
Florida Department of Corrections

								
To top