Florida Senate - 2011                                    SB 2010
       By Senator Braynon
       33-01307-11                                           20112010__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to faith- and character-based
    3         correctional institution programs; amending s.
    4         944.803, F.S.; revising legislative findings;
    5         providing requirements for faith- and character-based
    6         programs; deleting provisions relating to funding;
    7         revising requirements for participation by inmates in
    8         such programs; deleting provisions requiring the
    9         assignment of chaplains to community correctional
   10         centers; providing an effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 944.803, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   15  read:
   16         944.803 Faith- and character-based Faith-based programs for
   17  inmates.—
   18         (1) The Legislature finds and declares that faith- and
   19  character-based faith-based programs offered in state and
   20  private correctional institutions and facilities have the
   21  potential to facilitate inmate institutional adjustment, help
   22  inmates assume personal responsibility, and reduce recidivism.
   23         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department
   24  of Corrections and the private vendors operating private
   25  correctional facilities shall continuously:
   26         (a) Measure recidivism rates for inmates who have
   27  participated in faith- and character-based religious programs.;
   28         (b) Increase the number of volunteers who minister to
   29  inmates from various faith-based and secular institutions in the
   30  community.;
   31         (c) Develop community linkages with secular institutions,
   32  as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based
   33  institutions, to assist inmates in their release back into the
   34  community.; and
   35         (d) Fund through the use of annual appropriations, in
   36  department facilities, and through inmate welfare trust funds
   37  pursuant to s. 945.215, in private facilities, an adequate
   38  number of chaplains and support staff to operate faith-based
   39  programs in correctional institutions.
   40         (3)(a)The department must have at least six new programs
   41  fully operational. These six programs shall be similar to and in
   42  addition to the current faith-based pilot program. The six new
   43  programs shall be a joint effort with the department and faith
   44  based service groups within the community. The department shall
   45  ensure that an inmate’s faith orientation, or lack thereof, will
   46  not be considered in determining admission to a faith- and
   47  character-based faith-based program and that the program does
   48  not attempt to convert an inmate toward a particular faith or
   49  religious preference.
   50         (b) The programs shall operate 24 hours a day within the
   51  existing correctional facilities and. The programs must
   52  emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, meaningful
   53  work, education, substance abuse treatment, and peer support.
   54         (c) Participation in a the faith-based dormitory program
   55  shall be voluntary. However, at least 80 percent of the inmates
   56  participating in this program must be within 36 months of
   57  release. Assignment to a program these programs shall be based
   58  on evaluation and the length of time the inmate is projected to
   59  be assigned to that particular institution. In evaluating an
   60  inmate for this program, priority shall be given to inmates who
   61  have shown an indication for substance abuse. A right to
   62  substance abuse program services is not stated, intended, or
   63  otherwise implied by this subsection. The department may not
   64  remove an inmate once assigned to a the program except for the
   65  purposes of population management, for inmate conduct that may
   66  subject the inmate to disciplinary confinement or loss of gain
   67  time, for physical or mental health concerns, or for security or
   68  safety concerns. To support the programming component, the
   69  department shall assign a chaplain and a full-time clerical
   70  support person dedicated to each dormitory to implement and
   71  monitor the program and to strengthen volunteer participation
   72  and support.
   73         (4) The Department of Corrections shall assign chaplains to
   74  community correctional centers authorized pursuant to s.
   75  945.091(1)(b). These chaplains shall strengthen volunteer
   76  participation by recruiting volunteers in the community to
   77  assist inmates in transition, and, if requested by the inmate,
   78  placement in a mentoring program or at a contracted substance
   79  abuse transition housing program. When placing an inmate in a
   80  contracted program, the chaplain shall work with the
   81  institutional transition assistance specialist in an effort to
   82  successfully place the released inmate.
   83         (4)(5) The department shall ensure that any faith component
   84  of any program authorized in this chapter is offered on a
   85  voluntary basis and, an offender’s faith orientation, or lack
   86  thereof, will not be considered in determining admission to such
   87  a faith-based program and that the program does not attempt to
   88  convert an offender toward a particular faith or religious
   89  preference.
   90         (5)(6) The department shall ensure that state funds are not
   91  expended for the purpose of furthering religious indoctrination,
   92  but rather, that state funds are expended for purposes of
   93  furthering the secular goals of criminal rehabilitation, the
   94  successful reintegration of offenders into the community, and
   95  the reduction of recidivism.
   96         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.