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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Sentencing Scoresheet Compliance Report

October 2000

Report Logo - Sentencing Scoresheet

This report is in fulfillment of Florida Statute 921, which mandates that the Florida Department of Corrections shall, no later than October 1 of each year, provide the Legislature with a sentencing scoresheet compliance report. This report details the compliance of each judicial circuit in submitting to the Department sentencing scoresheets for offenders convicted of felonies between July 1, 1999 and June 30, 2000.

Included in this report is the following information:

  1. Using FY99-00 commitments to the Department of Corrections as a baseline for comparing scoresheet submissions, a compliance rate is provided for each judicial circuit and county. Commitments include all felons convicted and sentenced to state prison, probation or community control as well as modifications to and revocations of supervision. Scoresheets reported are those received through September 12, 2000. The statewide rate of compliance for this time period is 69.6%.

  2. For scoresheets received with sentence dates during FY99-00 (including those with non-department sanctions), county, circuit and region totals are provided, with breakdowns according to the source of preparation: State Attorney (72.1%) or Department of Corrections (27.9%).

  3. Circuit and county totals for scoresheets with FY99-00 sentence dates are listed according to most severe type of sanction. Of the 122,671 scoresheets received, 25,271 (20.6%) had a state prison sanction, 65,816 (53.7%) received a community supervision sanction and 29,558 (24.1%) received a county jail sanction.

The methodology for identifying missing scoresheets and calculating the compliance rate is described below:

  • Consider all sentencing events (including new admissions, revocations and modifications) and compare them to the sentencing scoresheets received for each offender. There are three possible outcomes: the sentencing event matches the scoresheet, there is no scoresheet to match the sentencing event or there is a scoresheet but no record of a sentencing event. The compliance rate is then calculated by adding together the first two options (resulting in the total number of sentencing events) and comparing it to the number of scoresheets that match.

    Historically the department has proactively taken a number of steps to maximize the receipt of scoresheets. This included supplying the field staff with lists of offenders admitted to the department with missing scoresheets (the "missing list") as well as working with various entities to obtain mandatory information omitted from submitted scoresheets. This approach may have contributed to the increase in the compliance rate for Fiscal Year 1999-2000, compared to the rate in Fiscal Year 1998-1999.

Heggs V. State

In February 2000, the Florida Supreme Court, in its review of Curtis Leon Heggs, determined Chapter Law 95-184 to be unconstitutional due to a violation of the single subject rule of the Florida Constitution. This Chapter Law contained substantial changes in sentencing law referred commonly to as the "1995 Sentencing Guidelines."

In some cases, the 1995 Sentencing Guidelines provided for greater punishment than the 1994 Sentencing Guidelines. Some enhancements were made to the Guidelines, designed primarily to target offenders with more serious current or prior criminal records. There were a significant number of changes and the nature of the changes provided for significant effects for some offenders. However, many offenders sentenced under the 1995 Guidelines would have scored identically under the 1994 version of the law.

In May 2000, the Supreme Court revised and finalized their opinion in this case and further clarified who is eligible for re-sentencing. This decision stated that "only those persons adversely affected by the amendments made by Chapter Law 95-184 may rely on our decision here to obtain relief. Stated another way, in the guidelines context, we determine that if a person's sentence imposed under the 1995 Guidelines could have been imposed under the 1994 Guidelines (without a departure), then that person shall not be entitled to relief."

The Supreme Court declined to rule in Heggs as to when the window period closed for offenders claiming their guidelines sentences are invalid due to the amendments contained in Chapter Law 95-184. At this time, the majority of circuit court and District Court of Appeals (DCA) cases have established that the window period opened on October 1, 1995 and closed on May 24, 1997. The remaining cases have the window opening on October 1, 1995 and closing on October 1, 1996.

Approximately 192,267 sentencing events occurred under the 1995 sentencing structure for offenses committed between October 1, 1995 and May 24, 1997, based on the Guidelines scoresheets received by the Department of Corrections through February 29, 2000. Original analysis indicated that 73,467 of these sentencing events evidenced scores adversely affected by the changes brought about in the 1995 guidelines. This analysis did not determine that the 1995 sentence was outside the range of the 1994 sentence, only that the scoresheet calculation reflected a difference in points.

Due to the potential number of re-sentencing events, it would be inaccurate to attempt to analyze and compare the 1995 sentencing guidelines to other versions of the sentencing scoresheet. As re-sentencing events occur, the original 1995 scoresheet will be replaced in the database with a 1994 scoresheet. This is necessary because the re-sentencing invalidates the original sentencing event. Likewise, the new sentence will overwrite the original sentence in DOC sentence structure and databases. A computerized record of the original sentence is not kept in the database that is used for data analysis.

As such, it is not possible to determine which scoresheets are the result of a re-sentencing or to verify that a re-sentencing event was a result of the Heggs ruling. Therefore, any analysis of this time period would yield a mixture of offenders sentenced under both the 1994 and 1995 guidelines.

For the analysis of the compliance rates, we are excluding all scoresheets with offense dates that occur from October 1, 1995 through May 24, 1997.

Report Contents

Questions regarding this report should be directed to
Kristine Dougherty or Stacey Anderson,
Florida Department of Corrections,
Bureau of Research and Data Analysis,
2601 Blair Stone Road,
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500
or by phone at (850) 488-1801.

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