HB 4215

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to faith-based prison programs; amending
3s. 944.803, F.S.; deleting a requirement that a specified
4percentage of inmates in such programs be within 36 months
5of release; providing an effective date.
7Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
9     Section 1.  Subsection (3) of section 944.803, Florida
10Statutes, is amended to read:
11     944.803  Faith-based programs for inmates.-
12     (3)  The department must have at least six new programs
13fully operational. These six programs shall be similar to and in
14addition to the current faith-based pilot program. The six new
15programs shall be a joint effort with the department and faith-
16based service groups within the community. The department shall
17ensure that an inmate's faith orientation, or lack thereof, will
18not be considered in determining admission to a faith-based
19program and that the program does not attempt to convert an
20inmate toward a particular faith or religious preference. The
21programs shall operate 24 hours a day within the existing
22correctional facilities. The programs must emphasize the
23importance of personal responsibility, meaningful work,
24education, substance abuse treatment, and peer support.
25Participation in the faith-based dormitory program shall be
26voluntary. However, at least 80 percent of the inmates
27participating in this program must be within 36 months of
28release. Assignment to these programs shall be based on
29evaluation and the length of time the inmate is projected to be
30assigned to that particular institution. In evaluating an inmate
31for this program, priority shall be given to inmates who have
32shown an indication for substance abuse. A right to substance
33abuse program services is not stated, intended, or otherwise
34implied by this subsection. The department may not remove an
35inmate once assigned to the program except for the purposes of
36population management, for inmate conduct that may subject the
37inmate to disciplinary confinement or loss of gain-time, for
38physical or mental health concerns, or for security or safety
39concerns. To support the programming component, the department
40shall assign a chaplain and a full-time clerical support person
41dedicated to each dormitory to implement and monitor the program
42and to strengthen volunteer participation and support.
43     Section 2.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.