Florida Senate - 2011                                     SB 138
       By Senator Bennett
       21-00250-11                                            2011138__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to military veterans convicted of
    3         criminal offenses; creating s. 921.00242, F.S.;
    4         providing that persons convicted of criminal offenses
    5         who allege that the offenses resulted from
    6         posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or
    7         psychological problems stemming from service in a
    8         combat theater in the United States military may have
    9         a hearing on that issue before sentencing; providing
   10         that defendants found to have committed offenses due
   11         to such causes and who are otherwise eligible for
   12         probation or community control may be placed in
   13         treatment programs for an equal period of time in
   14         certain circumstances; providing for sentence credit
   15         for such defendants placed in treatment; providing a
   16         preference for treatment programs with histories of
   17         successfully treating such combat veterans; providing
   18         an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Section 921.00242, Florida Statutes, is created
   23  to read:
   24         921.00242 Convicted military veterans; posttraumatic stress
   25  disorder, substance abuse, or psychological problems from
   26  service; treatment services.—
   27         (1) In the case of any person convicted of a criminal
   28  offense who would otherwise be sentenced to county jail or the
   29  state correctional system and who alleges that he or she
   30  committed the offense as a result of posttraumatic stress
   31  disorder, substance abuse, or psychological problems stemming
   32  from service in a combat theater in the United States military,
   33  the court shall, before sentencing, hold a hearing to determine
   34  whether the defendant was a member of the military forces of the
   35  United States who served in combat and shall assess whether the
   36  defendant suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder, substance
   37  abuse, or psychological problems as a result of that service.
   38         (2) If the court concludes that a defendant convicted of a
   39  criminal offense is a person described in subsection (1), and if
   40  the defendant is otherwise eligible for probation or community
   41  control and the court places the defendant on probation or
   42  community control, the court may order the defendant into a
   43  local, state, federal, or private nonprofit treatment program
   44  for a period not to exceed that which the defendant would have
   45  served in the state correctional system or county jail, provided
   46  the defendant agrees to participate in the program and the court
   47  determines that an appropriate treatment program exists.
   48         (3) A defendant granted probation or community control
   49  under this section and committed to a residential treatment
   50  program shall earn sentence credits for the actual time he or
   51  she served in residential treatment.
   52         (4) The court, in making an order under this section to
   53  commit a defendant to an established treatment program, shall
   54  give preference to a treatment program that has a history of
   55  successfully treating combat veterans who suffer from
   56  posttraumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, or psychological
   57  problems as a result of that service.
   58         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.