Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1226
       By Senator Taddeo
       40-01249-19                                           20191226__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to military veterans and
    3         servicemembers court programs; amending s. 394.47891,
    4         F.S.; requiring the chief judge of each judicial
    5         circuit to establish a Military Veterans and
    6         Servicemembers Court Program; requiring the chief
    7         judge to consider nationally recognized best practices
    8         when adopting policies and procedures for the program;
    9         providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Section 394.47891, Florida Statutes, is amended
   14  to read:
   15         394.47891 Military veterans and servicemembers court
   16  programs.—
   17         (1) The chief judge of each judicial circuit shall may
   18  establish a Military Veterans and Servicemembers Court Program
   19  under which veterans, as defined in s. 1.01, including veterans
   20  who were discharged or released under a general discharge, and
   21  servicemembers, as defined in s. 250.01, who are charged or
   22  convicted of a criminal offense and who suffer from a military
   23  related mental illness, traumatic brain injury, substance abuse
   24  disorder, or psychological problem can be sentenced in
   25  accordance with chapter 921 in a manner that appropriately
   26  addresses the severity of the mental illness, traumatic brain
   27  injury, substance abuse disorder, or psychological problem
   28  through services tailored to the individual needs of the
   29  participant. Entry into any Military Veterans and Servicemembers
   30  Court Program must be based upon the sentencing court’s
   31  assessment of the defendant’s criminal history, military
   32  service, substance abuse treatment needs, mental health
   33  treatment needs, amenability to the services of the program, the
   34  recommendation of the state attorney and the victim, if any, and
   35  the defendant’s agreement to enter the program.
   36         (2) The chief judge shall consider nationally recognized
   37  best practices in adopting policies and procedures for the
   38  program.
   39         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.