HB 177

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to inmate reentry; defining the terms
3"department" and "nonviolent offender"; directing the
4Department of Corrections to develop and administer a
5reentry program for nonviolent offenders which is
6intended to divert nonviolent offenders from long
7periods of incarceration; requiring that the program
8include intensive substance abuse treatment and
9rehabilitative programming; providing for the minimum
10length of service in the program; providing that any
11portion of a sentence before placement in the program
12does not count as progress toward program completion;
13specifying eligibility criteria for a nonviolent
14offender to be placed into the reentry program;
15directing the department to notify the nonviolent
16offender's sentencing court to obtain approval before
17the nonviolent offender is placed into the reentry
18program; requiring the department to notify the state
19attorney; authorizing the state attorney to file
20objections to placing the offender into the reentry
21program within a specified period; requiring the
22sentencing court to notify the department of the
23court's decision to approve or disapprove the
24requested placement within a specified period;
25providing that failure of the court to timely notify
26the department of the court's decision constitutes
27approval by the requested placement; requiring the
28nonviolent offender to undergo an education assessment
29and a full substance abuse assessment if admitted into
30the reentry program; requiring the offender to be
31enrolled in an adult education program in specified
32circumstances; requiring that assessments of
33vocational skills and future career education be
34provided to the offender; requiring that certain
35reevaluation be made periodically; providing that the
36nonviolent offender is subject to the disciplinary
37rules of the department; specifying the reasons for
38which the offender may be terminated from the reentry
39program; requiring that the department submit a report
40to the sentencing court at least 30 days before the
41nonviolent offender is scheduled to complete the
42reentry program; setting forth the issues to be
43addressed in the report; requiring the sentencing
44court to issue an order modifying the sentence imposed
45and place the nonviolent offender on drug offender
46probation if the nonviolent offender's performance is
47satisfactory; authorizing the court to revoke
48probation and impose the original sentence in
49specified circumstances; authorizing the court to
50require the offender to complete a postadjudicatory
51drug court program in specified circumstances;
52directing the department to implement the reentry
53program using available resources; requiring the
54department to submit an annual report to the Governor
55and Legislature detailing the extent of implementation
56of the reentry program and outlining future goals and
57recommendations; authorizing the department to enter
58into contracts with qualified individuals, agencies,
59or corporations for services for the reentry program;
60authorizing the department to impose administrative or
61protective confinement as necessary; authorizing the
62department to establish a system of incentives within
63the reentry program which the department may use to
64promote participation in rehabilitative programs and
65the orderly operation of institutions and facilities;
66providing that the section does not create a right to
67placement in the reentry program or any right to
68placement or early release under supervision of any
69type; providing that the section does not create a
70cause of action related to the program; directing the
71department to develop a system for tracking
72recidivism, including, but not limited to, rearrests
73and recommitment of nonviolent offenders who
74successfully complete the reentry program, and to
75report on recidivism in its annual report of the
76program; directing the department to adopt rules;
77providing an effective date.
79Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
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
86not a forcible felony as defined in s. 776.08, Florida Statutes;
88     2.  Not been convicted of any offense that requires a
89person to register as a sexual offender pursuant to s. 943.0435,
90Florida Statutes.
91     (2)(a)  The department shall develop and administer a
92reentry program for nonviolent offenders. The reentry program
93must include prison-based substance abuse treatment, general
94education development and adult basic education courses,
95vocational training, training in decisionmaking and personal
96development, and other rehabilitation programs.
97     (b)  The reentry program is intended to divert nonviolent
98offenders from long periods of incarceration when a reduced
99period of incarceration followed by participation in intensive
100substance abuse treatment and rehabilitative programming could
101produce the same deterrent effect, rehabilitate the offender,
102and reduce recidivism.
103     (c)  The nonviolent offender shall serve at least 120 days
104in the reentry program. The offender may not count any portion
105of his or her sentence served before placement in the reentry
106program as progress toward program completion.
107     (d)  A reentry program may be operated in a secure area in
108or adjacent to an adult institution.
109     (3)(a)  Upon receiving a potential reentry program
110participant, the department shall screen the nonviolent offender
111for eligibility criteria to participate in the reentry program.
112In order to participate, a nonviolent offender must have served
113at least one-half of his or her original sentence and must have
114been identified as having a need for substance abuse treatment.
115When screening a nonviolent offender, the department shall
116consider the offender's criminal history and the possible
117rehabilitative benefits that substance abuse treatment,
118educational programming, vocational training, and other
119rehabilitative programming might have on the offender.
120     (b)  If a nonviolent offender meets the eligibility
121criteria and space is available in the reentry program, the
122department shall request the sentencing court to approve the
123offender's participation in the reentry program.
124     (c)1.  The department shall notify the state attorney that
125the offender is being considered for placement in the reentry
126program. The notice must explain to the state attorney that a
127proposed reduced period of incarceration, followed by
128participation in substance abuse treatment and other
129rehabilitative programming, could produce the same deterrent
130effect otherwise expected from a lengthy incarceration.
131     2.  The notice must also state that the state attorney may
132notify the sentencing court in writing of any objection the
133state attorney might have if the nonviolent offender is placed
134in the reentry program. The state attorney must notify the
135sentencing court of his or her objections within 14 days after
136receiving the notice.
137     (d)  The sentencing court shall notify the department in
138writing of the court's decision to approve or disapprove the
139requested placement of the nonviolent offender no later than 28
140days after the court receives the department's request to place
141the offender in the reentry program. Failure to notify the
142department of the court's decision within the 28-day period
143constitutes approval to place the offender into the reentry
145     (4)  After the nonviolent offender is admitted into the
146reentry program, he or she shall undergo a full substance abuse
147assessment to determine his or her substance abuse treatment
148needs. The offender shall also have an educational assessment,
149which shall be accomplished using the Test of Adult Basic
150Education or any other testing instrument approved by the
151Department of Education. Each offender who has not obtained a
152high school diploma shall be enrolled in an adult education
153program designed to aid the offender in improving his or her
154academic skills and earn a high school diploma. Further
155assessments of the offender's vocational skills and future
156career education shall be provided to the offender as needed. A
157periodic reevaluation shall be made in order to assess the
158progress of each offender.
159     (5)(a)  If a nonviolent offender in the reentry program
160becomes unmanageable, the department may revoke the offender's
161gain-time and place the offender in disciplinary confinement in
162accordance with department rule. Except as provided in paragraph
163(b), the offender shall be readmitted to the reentry program
164after completing the ordered discipline. Any period of time
165during which the offender is unable to participate in the
166reentry program shall be excluded from the specified time
167requirements in the reentry program.
168     (b)  The department may terminate an offender from the
169reentry program if:
170     1.  The offender commits or threatens to commit a violent
172     2.  The department determines that the offender is unable
173to participate in the reentry program due to the offender's
174medical condition;
175     3.  The offender's sentence is modified or expires;
176     4.  The department reassigns the offender's classification
177status; or
178     5.  The department determines that removing the offender
179from the reentry program is in the best interest of the offender
180or the security of the institution.
181     (6)(a)  The department shall submit a report to the court
182at least 30 days before the nonviolent offender is scheduled to
183complete the reentry program. The report must describe the
184offender's performance in the reentry program. If the
185performance is satisfactory, the court shall issue an order
186modifying the sentence imposed and place the offender on drug
187offender probation subject to the offender's successful
188completion of the remainder of the reentry program. The term of
189drug offender probation may include placement in a community
190residential or nonresidential substance abuse treatment facility
191under the jurisdiction of the department or the Department of
192Children and Family Services or any public or private entity
193providing such services. If the nonviolent offender violates the
194conditions of drug offender probation, the court may revoke
195probation and impose any sentence that it might have originally
197     (b)  If an offender being released pursuant to paragraph
198(a) intends to reside in a county that has established a
199postadjudicatory drug court program as described in s. 397.334,
200Florida Statutes, the sentencing court may require the offender
201to successfully complete the postadjudicatory drug court program
202as a condition of drug offender probation. The original
203sentencing court shall relinquish jurisdiction of the offender's
204case to the postadjudicatory drug court program until the
205offender is no longer active in the program, the case is
206returned to the sentencing court due to the offender's
207termination from the program for failure to comply with the
208terms thereof, or the offender's sentence is completed. If
209transferred to a postadjudicatory drug court program, the
210offender shall comply with all conditions and orders of the
212     (7)  The department shall implement the reentry program to
213the fullest extent feasible within available resources.
214     (8)  The department shall submit an annual report to the
215Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
216House of Representatives detailing the extent of implementation
217of the reentry program and outlining future goals and any
218recommendation the department has for future legislative action.
219     (9)  The department may enter into performance-based
220contracts with qualified individuals, agencies, or corporations
221for the provision of any or all of the services for the reentry
223     (10)  A nonviolent offender in the reentry program is
224subject to rules of conduct established by the department and
225may have sanctions imposed, including loss of privileges,
226restrictions, disciplinary confinement, alteration of release
227plans, or other program modifications in keeping with the nature
228and gravity of the program violation. Administrative or
229protective confinement, as necessary, may be imposed.
230     (11)  This section does not create or confer any right to
231any inmate to placement in the reentry program or any right to
232placement or early release under supervision of any type. No
233inmate may have a cause of action under this section against the
234department, a court, or the state attorney related to the
235reentry program.
236     (12)  The department may establish a system of incentives
237within the reentry program which the department may use to
238promote participation in rehabilitative programs and the orderly
239operation of institutions and facilities.
240     (13)  The department shall develop a system for tracking
241recidivism, including, but not limited to, rearrests and
242recommitment of nonviolent offenders who successfully complete
243the reentry program, and shall report the recidivism rate in its
244annual report of the program.
245     (14)  The department shall adopt rules pursuant to ss.
246120.536(1) and 120.54, Florida Statutes, to administer the
247reentry program.
248     Section 2.  This act shall take effect October 1, 2012.

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