2021 Florida Statutes (Including 2021B Session)
Youthful offender basic training program.
Youthful offender basic training program.
958.045 Youthful offender basic training program.—
(1) The department shall develop and implement a basic training program for youthful offenders sentenced or classified by the department as youthful offenders pursuant to this chapter. The period of time to be served at the basic training program shall be no less than 120 days.
(a) The program shall include marching drills, calisthenics, a rigid dress code, manual labor assignments, physical training with obstacle courses, training in decisionmaking and personal development, high school equivalency diploma and adult basic education courses, and drug counseling and other rehabilitation programs.
(b) The department shall adopt rules governing the administration of the youthful offender basic training program, requiring that basic training participants complete a structured disciplinary program, and allowing for a restriction on general inmate population privileges.
(2) Upon receipt of youthful offenders, the department shall screen offenders for the basic training program. To participate, an offender must have no physical limitations that preclude participation in strenuous activity, must not be impaired, and must not have been previously incarcerated in a state or federal correctional facility. In screening offenders for the basic training program, the department shall consider the offender’s criminal history and the possible rehabilitative benefits of “shock” incarceration. If an offender meets the specified criteria and space is available, the department shall request, in writing from the sentencing court, approval for the offender to participate in the basic training program. If the person is classified by the department as a youthful offender and the department is requesting approval from the sentencing court for placement in the program, the department shall, at the same time, notify the state attorney that the offender is being considered for placement in the basic training program. The notice must explain that the purpose of such placement is diversion from lengthy incarceration when a short “shock” incarceration could produce the same deterrent effect, and that the state attorney may, within 14 days after the mailing of the notice, notify the sentencing court in writing of objections, if any, to the placement of the offender in the basic training program. The sentencing court shall notify the department in writing of placement approval no later than 21 days after receipt of the department’s request for placement of the youthful offender in the basic training program. Failure to notify the department within 21 days shall be considered an approval by the sentencing court for placing the youthful offender in the basic training program. Each state attorney may develop procedures for notifying the victim that the offender is being considered for placement in the basic training program.
(3) The program shall provide a short incarceration period of rigorous training to offenders who require a greater degree of supervision than community control or probation provides. Basic training programs may be operated in secure areas in or adjacent to an adult institution notwithstanding s. 958.11. The program is not intended to divert offenders away from probation or community control but to divert them from long periods of incarceration when a short “shock” incarceration could produce the same deterrent effect.
(4) Upon admittance to the department, an educational and substance abuse assessment shall be performed on each youthful offender. Upon admittance to the basic training program, each offender shall have a full substance abuse assessment to determine the offender’s need for substance abuse treatment. The educational assessment shall be accomplished through the aid of the Test of Adult Basic Education or any other testing instrument approved by the Department of Education, as appropriate. Each offender who has not obtained a high school diploma shall be enrolled in an adult education program designed to aid the offender in improving his or her academic skills and earning a high school diploma. Further assessments of the prior vocational skills and future career education shall be provided to the offender. A periodic evaluation shall be made to assess the progress of each offender, and upon completion of the basic training program the assessment and information from the department’s record of each offender shall be transferred to the appropriate community residential program.
(5)(a) If an offender in the basic training program becomes unmanageable, the department may revoke the offender’s gain-time and place the offender in disciplinary confinement for up to 30 days. Upon completion of the disciplinary process, the offender shall be readmitted to the basic training program, except for an offender who has committed or threatened to commit a violent act. If the offender is terminated from the program, the department may place the offender in the general population to complete the remainder of the offender’s sentence. Any period of time in which the offender is unable to participate in the basic training activities may be excluded from the specified time requirements in the program.
(b) If the offender is unable to participate in the basic training activities due to medical reasons, certified medical personnel shall examine the offender and shall consult with the basic training program director concerning the offender’s termination from the program.
(c) The portion of the sentence served before placement in the basic training program may not be counted toward program completion. The department shall submit a report to the court at least 30 days before the youthful offender is scheduled to complete the basic training program. The report must describe the offender’s performance in the basic training program. If the youthful offender’s performance is satisfactory, the court shall issue an order modifying the sentence imposed and place the offender on probation subject to the offender successfully completing the remainder of the basic training program. The term of probation may include placement in a community residential program. If the offender violates the conditions of probation, the court may revoke probation and impose any sentence that it might have originally imposed.
(6)(a) Upon completing the basic training program, an offender shall be transferred to a community residential program and reside there for a term designated by department rule. If the basic training program director determines that the offender is not suitable for the community residential program but is suitable for an alternative postrelease program or release plan, within 30 days prior to program completion the department shall evaluate the offender’s needs and determine an alternative postrelease program or plan. The department’s consideration shall include, but not be limited to, the offender’s employment, residence, family situation, and probation or postrelease supervision obligations. Upon the approval of the department, the offender shall be released to an alternative postrelease program or plan.
(b) While in the community residential program, as appropriate, the offender shall engage in gainful employment, and if any, shall pay restitution to the victim. If appropriate, the offender may enroll in substance abuse counseling, and if suitable, shall enroll in a high school equivalency diploma or adult basic education class for the purpose of attaining a high school diploma. Upon release from the community residential program, the offender shall remain on probation, or other postrelease supervision, and abide by the conditions of the offender’s probation or postrelease supervision. If, upon transfer from the community residential program, the offender has not completed the enrolled educational program, the offender shall continue the educational program until completed. If the offender fails to complete the program, the department may request the court or the control release authority to execute an order returning the offender back to the community residential program until completion of the program.
(7) The department shall implement the basic training program to the fullest extent feasible within the provisions of this section.
(8)(a) The Assistant Secretary for Youthful Offenders shall continuously screen all institutions, facilities, and programs for any inmate who meets the eligibility requirements for youthful offender designation specified in s. 958.04, whose age does not exceed 24 years. The department may classify and assign as a youthful offender any inmate who meets the criteria of s. 958.04.
(b) A youthful offender who is designated as such by the department and assigned to the basic training program must be eligible for control release pursuant to s. 947.146.
(c) The department shall work cooperatively with the Control Release Authority or the Florida Commission on Offender Review to effect the release of an offender who has successfully completed the requirements of the basic training program.
(d) Upon an offender’s completion of the basic training program, the department shall submit a report to the releasing authority that describes the offender’s performance. If the performance has been satisfactory, the release authority shall establish a release date that is within 30 days following program completion. As a condition of release, the offender shall be placed in a community residential program as provided in this section or on community supervision as provided in chapter 947, and shall be subject to the conditions established therefor.
(9) Due to serious and violent crime, the Legislature declares the construction of a basic training facility is necessary to aid in alleviating an emergency situation.
(10) The department shall provide a special training program for staff selected for the basic training program.
(11) The department may develop performance-based contracts with qualified individuals, agencies, or corporations for the provision of any or all of the youthful offender programs.
(12) An offender in the basic training program is subject to rules of conduct established by the department and may have sanctions imposed, including loss of privileges, restrictions, disciplinary confinement, alteration of release plans, or other program modifications in keeping with the nature and gravity of the program violation. Administrative or protective confinement, as necessary, may be imposed.
(13) The department may establish a system of incentives within the basic training program which the department may use to promote participation in rehabilitative programs and the orderly operation of institutions and facilities.
(14) The department shall develop a system for tracking recidivism, including, but not limited to, rearrests and recommitment of youthful offenders, and shall report on that system in its annual reports of the programs.
History.—s. 99, ch. 94-209; s. 1703, ch. 97-102; s. 153, ch. 2005-2; s. 1, ch. 2006-270; s. 14, ch. 2009-63; s. 165, ch. 2010-102; s. 13, ch. 2014-20; s. 55, ch. 2014-191; s. 146, ch. 2019-167.