Florida Senate - 2012 SB 448 By Senator Bogdanoff 25-00398B-12 2012448__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to inmate reentry; defining the terms 3 “department” and “nonviolent offender”; directing the 4 Department of Corrections to develop and administer a 5 reentry program for nonviolent offenders which is 6 intended to divert nonviolent offenders from long 7 periods of incarceration; requiring that the program 8 include intensive substance abuse treatment and 9 rehabilitative programming; providing for the minimum 10 length of service in the program; providing that any 11 portion of a sentence before placement in the program 12 does not count as progress toward program completion; 13 specifying eligibility criteria for a nonviolent 14 offender to be placed into the reentry program; 15 directing the department to notify the nonviolent 16 offender’s sentencing court to obtain approval before 17 the nonviolent offender is placed into the reentry 18 program; requiring the department to notify the state 19 attorney; authorizing the state attorney to file 20 objections to placing the offender into the reentry 21 program within a specified period; requiring the 22 sentencing court to notify the department of the 23 court’s decision to approve or disapprove the 24 requested placement within a specified period; 25 providing that failure of the court to timely notify 26 the department of the court’s decision constitutes 27 approval by the requested placement; requiring the 28 nonviolent offender to undergo an education assessment 29 and a full substance abuse assessment if admitted into 30 the reentry program; requiring the offender to be 31 enrolled in an adult education program in specified 32 circumstances; requiring that assessments of 33 vocational skills and future career education be 34 provided to the offender; requiring that certain 35 reevaluation be made periodically; providing that the 36 nonviolent offender is subject to the disciplinary 37 rules of the department; specifying the reasons for 38 which the offender may be terminated from the reentry 39 program; requiring that the department submit a report 40 to the sentencing court at least 30 days before the 41 nonviolent offender is scheduled to complete the 42 reentry program; setting forth the issues to be 43 addressed in the report; requiring the sentencing 44 court to issue an order modifying the sentence imposed 45 and place the nonviolent offender on drug offender 46 probation if the nonviolent offender’s performance is 47 satisfactory; authorizing the court to revoke 48 probation and impose the original sentence in 49 specified circumstances; authorizing the court to 50 require the offender to complete a postadjudicatory 51 drug court program in specified circumstances; 52 directing the department to implement the reentry 53 program using available resources; requiring the 54 department to submit an annual report to the Governor 55 and Legislature detailing the extent of implementation 56 of the reentry program and outlining future goals and 57 recommendations; authorizing the department to enter 58 into contracts with qualified individuals, agencies, 59 or corporations for services for the reentry program; 60 authorizing the department to impose administrative or 61 protective confinement as necessary; authorizing the 62 department to establish a system of incentives within 63 the reentry program which the department may use to 64 promote participation in rehabilitative programs and 65 the orderly operation of institutions and facilities; 66 providing that the section does not create a right to 67 placement in the reentry program or any right to 68 placement or early release under supervision of any 69 type; providing that the section does not create a 70 cause of action related to the program; directing the 71 department to develop a system for tracking 72 recidivism, including, but not limited to, rearrests 73 and recommitment of nonviolent offenders who 74 successfully complete the reentry program, and to 75 report on recidivism in its annual report of the 76 program; directing the department to adopt rules; 77 providing an effective date. 78 79 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 80 81 Section 1. Nonviolent offender reentry program.— 82 (1) As used in this section, the term: 83 (a) “Department” means the Department of Corrections. 84 (b) “Nonviolent offender” means an offender who has: 85 1. Been convicted of a third-degree felony offense that is 86 not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, Florida Statutes; 87 and 88 2. Not been convicted of any offense that requires a person 89 to register as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435, 90 Florida Statutes. 91 (2)(a) The department shall develop and administer a 92 reentry program for nonviolent offenders. The reentry program 93 must include prison-based substance abuse treatment, general 94 education development and adult basic education courses, 95 vocational training, training in decisionmaking and personal 96 development, and other rehabilitation programs. 97 (b) The reentry program is intended to divert nonviolent 98 offenders from long periods of incarceration when a reduced 99 period of incarceration followed by participation in intensive 100 substance abuse treatment and rehabilitative programming could 101 produce the same deterrent effect, rehabilitate the offender, 102 and reduce recidivism. 103 (c) The nonviolent offender shall serve at least 120 days 104 in the reentry program. The offender may not count any portion 105 of his or her sentence served before placement in the reentry 106 program as progress toward program completion. 107 (d) A reentry program may be operated in a secure area in 108 or adjacent to an adult institution. 109 (3)(a) Upon receiving a potential reentry program 110 participant, the department shall screen the nonviolent offender 111 for eligibility criteria to participate in the reentry program. 112 In order to participate, a nonviolent offender must have served 113 at least one-half of his or her original sentence and must have 114 been identified as having a need for substance abuse treatment. 115 When screening a nonviolent offender, the department shall 116 consider the offender’s criminal history and the possible 117 rehabilitative benefits that substance abuse treatment, 118 educational programming, vocational training, and other 119 rehabilitative programming might have on the offender. 120 (b) If a nonviolent offender meets the eligibility criteria 121 and space is available in the reentry program, the department 122 shall request the sentencing court to approve the offender’s 123 participation in the reentry program. 124 (c)1. The department shall notify the state attorney that 125 the offender is being considered for placement in the reentry 126 program. The notice must explain to the state attorney that a 127 proposed reduced period of incarceration, followed by 128 participation in substance abuse treatment and other 129 rehabilitative programming, could produce the same deterrent 130 effect otherwise expected from a lengthy incarceration. 131 2. The notice must also state that the state attorney may 132 notify the sentencing court in writing of any objection the 133 state attorney might have if the nonviolent offender is placed 134 in the reentry program. The state attorney must notify the 135 sentencing court of his or her objections within 14 days after 136 receiving the notice. 137 (d) The sentencing court shall notify the department in 138 writing of the court’s decision to approve or disapprove the 139 requested placement of the nonviolent offender no later than 28 140 days after the court receives the department’s request to place 141 the offender in the reentry program. Failure to notify the 142 department of the court’s decision within the 28-day period 143 constitutes approval to place the offender into the reentry 144 program. 145 (4) After the nonviolent offender is admitted into the 146 reentry program, he or she shall undergo a full substance abuse 147 assessment to determine his or her substance abuse treatment 148 needs. The offender shall also have an educational assessment, 149 which shall be accomplished using the Test of Adult Basic 150 Education or any other testing instrument approved by the 151 Department of Education. Each offender who has not obtained a 152 high school diploma shall be enrolled in an adult education 153 program designed to aid the offender in improving his or her 154 academic skills and earn a high school diploma. Further 155 assessments of the offender’s vocational skills and future 156 career education shall be provided to the offender as needed. A 157 periodic reevaluation shall be made in order to assess the 158 progress of each offender. 159 (5)(a) If a nonviolent offender in the reentry program 160 becomes unmanageable, the department may revoke the offender’s 161 gain-time and place the offender in disciplinary confinement in 162 accordance with department rule. Except as provided in paragraph 163 (b), the offender shall be readmitted to the reentry program 164 after completing the ordered discipline. Any period of time 165 during which the offender is unable to participate in the 166 reentry program shall be excluded from the specified time 167 requirements in the reentry program. 168 (b) The department may terminate an offender from the 169 reentry program if: 170 1. The offender commits or threatens to commit a violent 171 act; 172 2. The department determines that the offender is unable to 173 participate in the reentry program due to the offender’s medical 174 condition; 175 3. The offender’s sentence is modified or expires; 176 4. The department reassigns the offender’s classification 177 status; or 178 5. The department determines that removing the offender 179 from the reentry program is in the best interest of the offender 180 or the security of the institution. 181 (6)(a) The department shall submit a report to the court at 182 least 30 days before the nonviolent offender is scheduled to 183 complete the reentry program. The report must describe the 184 offender’s performance in the reentry program. If the 185 performance is satisfactory, the court shall issue an order 186 modifying the sentence imposed and place the offender on drug 187 offender probation subject to the offender’s successful 188 completion of the remainder of the reentry program. The term of 189 drug offender probation may include placement in a community 190 residential or nonresidential substance abuse treatment facility 191 under the jurisdiction of the department or the Department of 192 Children and Family Services or any public or private entity 193 providing such services. If the nonviolent offender violates the 194 conditions of drug offender probation, the court may revoke 195 probation and impose any sentence that it might have originally 196 imposed. 197 (b) If an offender being released pursuant to paragraph (a) 198 intends to reside in a county that has established a 199 postadjudicatory drug court program as described in s. 397.334, 200 Florida Statutes, the sentencing court may require the offender 201 to successfully complete the postadjudicatory drug court program 202 as a condition of drug offender probation. The original 203 sentencing court shall relinquish jurisdiction of the offender’s 204 case to the postadjudicatory drug court program until the 205 offender is no longer active in the program, the case is 206 returned to the sentencing court due to the offender’s 207 termination from the program for failure to comply with the 208 terms thereof, or the offender’s sentence is completed. If 209 transferred to a postadjudicatory drug court program, the 210 offender shall comply with all conditions and orders of the 211 program. 212 (7) The department shall implement the reentry program to 213 the fullest extent feasible within available resources. 214 (8) The department shall submit an annual report to the 215 Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the 216 House of Representatives detailing the extent of implementation 217 of the reentry program and outlining future goals and any 218 recommendation the department has for future legislative action. 219 (9) The department may enter into performance-based 220 contracts with qualified individuals, agencies, or corporations 221 for the provision of any or all of the services for the reentry 222 program. 223 (10) A nonviolent offender in the reentry program is 224 subject to rules of conduct established by the department and 225 may have sanctions imposed, including loss of privileges, 226 restrictions, disciplinary confinement, alteration of release 227 plans, or other program modifications in keeping with the nature 228 and gravity of the program violation. Administrative or 229 protective confinement, as necessary, may be imposed. 230 (11) This section does not create or confer any right to 231 any inmate to placement in the reentry program or any right to 232 placement or early release under supervision of any type. No 233 inmate may have a cause of action under this section against the 234 department, a court, or the state attorney related to the 235 reentry program. 236 (12) The department may establish a system of incentives 237 within the reentry program which the department may use to 238 promote participation in rehabilitative programs and the orderly 239 operation of institutions and facilities. 240 (13) The department shall develop a system for tracking 241 recidivism, including, but not limited to, rearrests and 242 recommitment of nonviolent offenders who successfully complete 243 the reentry program, and shall report the recidivism rate in its 244 annual report of the program. 245 (14) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss. 246 120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer the 247 reentry program. 248 Section 2. This act shall take effect October 1, 2012.