Community supervision in Florida is provided to adult offenders who are sentenced to a supervision type imposed by: a criminal court, the Florida Parole Commission, or a contractual agreement between the State Attorney’s Office, the offender, and the Florida Department of Corrections. As of June 30, 2009 there are 2,334 Correctional Probation Officers responsible for the supervision of over 157,000 offenders under community supervision in Florida. Community supervision includes monitoring and enforcing standard and special conditions imposed by the court or Florida Parole Commission; referring offenders to community resources for assistance with job placement, treatment, education, or other need; conducting drug tests to monitor for substance abuse, using electronic monitoring to monitor whereabouts of offenders, reporting violations to the court or Florida Parole Commission; and using other specialized supervision approaches. The following is a brief overview of the types of supervision that comprise this area of the Florida Department of Corrections.
Pretrial Intervention is a type of supervision intended for first time non-violent offenders. Any first offender, or any person previously convicted of not more than one nonviolent misdemeanor, who is charged with any misdemeanor or felony of a third degree, is eligible for release to the pretrial intervention program. Consent must be obtained from the victim, the state attorney, and in some jurisdictions, as in the case of Drug Courts, the judge. The offender signs a contract, agreeing to certain terms and conditions of supervision. If the offender completes the program successfully, charges are dropped. If the offender does not comply with the terms of the contract, his/her case is referred back to the State Attorney for further prosecution.
Requirements are similar in the Drug Offender Pretrial Intervention Program, except the offense can be a second or third degree felony for purchase or possession of a controlled substance under Chapter 893; prostitution; tampering with evidence; solicitation for purchase of a controlled substance; or obtaining a prescription by fraud. Drug Offender Pretrial Intervention is often used by judges as a type of supervision imposed for first time offenders with a substance abuse problem
Probation is a court-ordered term of community supervision under specified conditions for a specific period of time that cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the offense. It is the most common type of community supervision. The offender on probation is required to abide by all conditions ordered by the court. Offenders on probation must comply with standard conditions of supervision, including but not limited to: no violations of the law, monthly reporting requirements, not changing residence or employment or leaving the county without the consent of the probation officer, submitting to random drug testing and searches, and paying cost of supervision. The sentencing judge will often impose special conditions of supervision, including but not limited to: substance abuse or mental health treatment, victim restitution, and community service hours. Non-compliance or ‘violation’ of any of these conditions, either by committing another crime or through a technical violation like failing to complete substance abuse treatment, may result in modification of the sentence or revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence that it might have imposed when originally placing the offender on probation.
Drug Offender Probation is a more intensive form of supervision, which emphasizes treatment of drug offenders and monitoring of offenders’ substance abuse through field supervision, contact with treatment providers, and random drug testing. Offenders on Drug Offender Probation have all the standard conditions of supervision imposed, along with any special conditions the court deems necessary due to the offender’s substance abuse history, including but not limited to: inpatient or outpatient substance abuse treatment, increased frequency of drug testing, and sometimes curfews.
Sex Offender Probation is an intensive form of supervision which emphasizes sex offender treatment and close monitoring in the field to ensure compliance with sex offender conditions of supervision and sex offender registration requirements. Abbreviated versions of the standard sex offender conditions of supervision include:
For more detailed descriptions of the sex offender standard conditions of supervision, please refer to Section 948.30, Florida Statutes.
Community Control is a form of intensive supervised “house arrest,” including surveillance, on weekends and holidays. The offender is restricted to his/her residence, with the exception of being allowed to work, attend treatment, visit the probation office, and limited other occasions that must be approved in advance by the community control officer. As with probation, violation of any community control condition may result in revocation by the court and imposition of any sentence that it might have imposed before placing the offender on community control supervision. Many of the offenders who are placed on community control are prison diversions.
Parole is a post-prison supervision program where eligible inmates have the terms and conditions of parole set by the Florida Parole Commission, an agency separate from the Florida Department of Corrections. The period of parole cannot exceed the balance of the offender’s original sentence. Under parole, the offender is to be supervised in the community under specific conditions imposed by the Florida Parole Commission. Parole supervision is provided by correctional probation officers who work for the Florida Department of Corrections. Only offenders sentenced for offenses committed prior to October 1, 1983 can be eligible for parole, as it was abolished for all offenses committed after that date. Even so, there are still about 5,000 inmates in prison who remain eligible for parole. Parole violations are reported by probation officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.
An inmate sentenced to murder/manslaughter, sexual offenses, robbery or other violent personal crimes, and who has a previous commitment to a state or federal institution or has been convicted as a Habitual Offender or Sexual Predator, meets the criteria for conditional release. Upon reaching their release date with accrued gaintime, an inmate is placed on conditional release to serve up to the remainder of the length of sentence. The Florida Parole Commission imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to conditional release supervision. Supervision is provided by the Florida Department of Corrections’ probation officers. Conditional release violations are reported by probation officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.
Addiction Recovery Supervision is a form of supervision for an offender released from a state correctional facility, convicted of a crime committed on or after July 1, 2001, when the offender has:
The Florida Parole Commission imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to Addiction Recovery Supervision, which include substance abuse treatment and random drug testing to monitor substance abuse. Supervision is provided by the Florida Department of Corrections’ probation officers. Addiction Recovery Supervision violations are reported by probation officers to the Florida Parole Commission, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.