Florida Senate - 2011                             CS for SB 2010
       By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Braynon
       591-03798-11                                          20112010c1
    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 legislative intent with respect to expansion
    6         of the faith- and character-based initiative;
    7         providing requirements for faith- and character-based
    8         programs; deleting provisions relating to funding;
    9         revising requirements for participation by inmates in
   10         such programs; deleting provisions requiring the
   11         assignment of chaplains to community correctional
   12         centers; providing for the faith- and character-based
   13         institutions within the state correctional system to
   14         allow peer-to-peer programming whenever appropriate;
   15         providing an effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Section 944.803, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   20  read:
   21         944.803 Faith- and character-based Faith-based programs for
   22  inmates.—
   23         (1)(a) The Legislature finds and declares that faith- and
   24  character-based faith-based programs offered in state and
   25  private correctional institutions and facilities have the
   26  potential to facilitate inmate institutional adjustment, help
   27  inmates assume personal responsibility, and reduce recidivism.
   28         (b) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department
   29  expand the faith- and character-based initiative through the use
   30  of faith- and character-based institutions. The department is
   31  encouraged to phase out the faith-based and self-improvement
   32  dormitory programs and move toward the goal of implementing only
   33  faith- and character-based institutions.
   34         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department
   35  of Corrections and the private vendors operating private
   36  correctional facilities shall continuously:
   37         (a) Measure recidivism rates for inmates who have
   38  participated in faith- and character-based religious programs.;
   39         (b) Increase the number of volunteers who minister to
   40  inmates from various faith-based and secular institutions in the
   41  community.;
   42         (c) Develop community linkages with secular institutions,
   43  as well as churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based
   44  institutions, to assist inmates in their release back into the
   45  community.; and
   46         (d) Fund through the use of annual appropriations, in
   47  department facilities, and through inmate welfare trust funds
   48  pursuant to s. 945.215, in private facilities, an adequate
   49  number of chaplains and support staff to operate faith-based
   50  programs in correctional institutions.
   51         (3)(a)The department must have at least six new programs
   52  fully operational. These six programs shall be similar to and in
   53  addition to the current faith-based pilot program. The six new
   54  programs shall be a joint effort with the department and faith
   55  based service groups within the community. The department shall
   56  ensure that an inmate’s faith orientation, or lack thereof, will
   57  not be considered in determining admission to a faith- and
   58  character-based faith-based program and that the program does
   59  not attempt to convert an inmate toward a particular faith or
   60  religious preference.
   61         (b) The programs shall operate 24 hours a day within the
   62  existing correctional facilities and. The programs must
   63  emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, meaningful
   64  work, education, substance abuse treatment, and peer support.
   65         (c) Participation in a the faith-based dormitory program
   66  shall be voluntary. However, at least 80 percent of the inmates
   67  participating in this program must be within 36 months of
   68  release. Assignment to a program these programs shall be based
   69  on evaluation and the length of time the inmate is projected to
   70  be assigned to that particular institution. In evaluating an
   71  inmate for this program, priority shall be given to inmates who
   72  have shown an indication for substance abuse. A right to
   73  substance abuse program services is not stated, intended, or
   74  otherwise implied by this subsection. The department may not
   75  remove an inmate once assigned to a the program except for the
   76  purposes of population management, for inmate conduct that may
   77  subject the inmate to disciplinary confinement or loss of gain
   78  time, for physical or mental health concerns, or for security or
   79  safety concerns. To support the programming component, the
   80  department shall assign a chaplain and a full-time clerical
   81  support person dedicated to each dormitory to implement and
   82  monitor the program and to strengthen volunteer participation
   83  and support.
   84         (4) The Department of Corrections shall assign chaplains to
   85  community correctional centers authorized pursuant to s.
   86  945.091(1)(b). These chaplains shall strengthen volunteer
   87  participation by recruiting volunteers in the community to
   88  assist inmates in transition, and, if requested by the inmate,
   89  placement in a mentoring program or at a contracted substance
   90  abuse transition housing program. When placing an inmate in a
   91  contracted program, the chaplain shall work with the
   92  institutional transition assistance specialist in an effort to
   93  successfully place the released inmate.
   94         (4)(5) The department shall ensure that any faith component
   95  of any program authorized in this chapter is offered on a
   96  voluntary basis and, an offender’s faith orientation, or lack
   97  thereof, will not be considered in determining admission to such
   98  a faith-based program and that the program does not attempt to
   99  convert an offender toward a particular faith or religious
  100  preference.
  101         (5)(6) The department shall ensure that state funds are not
  102  expended for the purpose of furthering religious indoctrination,
  103  but rather, that state funds are expended for purposes of
  104  furthering the secular goals of criminal rehabilitation, the
  105  successful reintegration of offenders into the community, and
  106  the reduction of recidivism.
  107         (6) Within faith- and character-based institutions of the
  108  state correctional system, peer-to-peer programming shall be
  109  allowed, such as Alcoholics Anonymous groups, literacy
  110  instruction, and other activities when appropriate.
  111         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.