2019 Florida Statutes
Release orientation program.
Release orientation program.
944.705 Release orientation program.—
(1) The department shall provide participation in a standardized release orientation program to every eligible inmate.
(2) The release orientation program instruction must include, but is not limited to:
(a) Employment skills.
(b) Money management skills.
(c) Personal development and planning.
(d) Special needs.
(e) Community reentry concerns.
(f) Community reentry support.
(g) Any other appropriate instruction to ensure the inmate’s successful reentry into the community.
(3)(a) The department shall establish a toll-free hotline for the benefit of released inmates. The hotline shall provide information to released inmates seeking to obtain postrelease referrals for community-based reentry services.
(b) Before an inmate’s release, the department shall provide the inmate with a comprehensive community reentry resource directory organized by county and which must include the name, address, and a description of the services offered by each reentry service provider. The directory must also include the name, address, and telephone number of existing portals of entry and the toll-free hotline number required by paragraph (a).
(c) The department shall expand the use of a department-approved risk and needs assessment system to provide inmates and offenders with community-specific reentry service provider referrals.
(4) Any inmate who claims to be a victim of domestic violence as defined in s. 741.28 shall receive, as part of the release orientation program, referral to the nearest domestic violence center certified under chapter 39.
(5) The department shall conduct a needs assessment of every inmate to determine which, if any, basic support services the inmate needs after release.
(6) The department may contract with public or private entities, including faith-based service groups, for the provision of all or part of the services pursuant to this section.
(7)(a) The department shall notify every inmate in the inmate’s release documents:
1. Of all outstanding terms of the inmate’s sentence at the time of release to assist the inmate in determining his or her status with regard to the completion of all terms of sentence, as that term is defined in s. 98.0751. This subparagraph does not apply to inmates who are being released from the custody of the department to any type of supervision monitored by the department; and
(b) This section does not preclude the sentencing of a person pursuant to s. 775.082(9), and evidence that the department failed to provide this notice does not prohibit a person from being sentenced pursuant to s. 775.082(9). The state is not required to demonstrate that a person received any notice from the department in order for the court to impose a sentence pursuant to s. 775.082(9).
(8) A nonprofit faith-based or professional business, or a civic or community organization, may apply for registration with the department to provide inmate reentry services. Reentry services include, but are not limited to, counseling; providing information on housing and job placement; money management assistance; and programs that address substance abuse, mental health, or co-occurring conditions.
(9) The department shall adopt policies and procedures for screening, approving, and registering an organization that applies under subsection (8). The department may deny approval and registration of an organization or a representative from an organization if it determines that the organization or representative does not meet the department’s policies and procedures.
(10) The department may contract with a public or private educational institution’s veteran advocacy clinic or veteran legal clinic to assist qualified veteran inmates in applying for veterans’ benefits upon release.
(11) The department may contract with public or private organizations to establish transitional employment programs that provide employment opportunities for released inmates.
(12) The department shall adopt rules to implement this section.
History.—ss. 8, 12, ch. 87-298; ss. 12, 13, ch. 88-122; s. 31, ch. 89-526; s. 9, ch. 91-210; s. 9, ch. 92-310; s. 26, ch. 94-134; s. 26, ch. 94-135; s. 3, ch. 97-239; s. 17, ch. 98-204; s. 164, ch. 98-403; s. 10, ch. 2001-110; s. 29, ch. 2019-162; s. 57, ch. 2019-167.