Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 574
       By Senator Brandes
       24-00764-20                                            2020574__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to aging inmate conditional release;
    3         creating s. 945.0912, F.S.; establishing the
    4         conditional aging inmate release program within the
    5         Department of Corrections; establishing a panel to
    6         consider specified matters; providing for program
    7         eligibility; requiring that an inmate who meets
    8         certain criteria be considered for conditional aging
    9         inmate release; providing that the inmate does not
   10         have a right to release; requiring the department to
   11         identify eligible inmates; requiring the department to
   12         refer an inmate to the panel for consideration;
   13         providing victim notification requirements under
   14         certain circumstances; requiring the panel to conduct
   15         a hearing within a specified timeframe; providing
   16         requirements for the hearing; providing a review
   17         process for an inmate who is denied release; providing
   18         conditions for release; prohibiting an aging releasee
   19         or his or her community-based housing from being
   20         counted in the prison system population and the prison
   21         capacity figures, respectively; providing for the
   22         revocation of an aging inmate release; requiring the
   23         aging releasee to be detained if a violation is based
   24         on certain circumstances; authorizing the aging
   25         releasee to be returned to the department if he or she
   26         violates any conditions of the release; requiring a
   27         majority of the panel to agree on the appropriateness
   28         of revocation; authorizing the forfeiture of gain-time
   29         if the revocation is based on certain violations;
   30         providing a review process for an inmate who has his
   31         or her released revoked; requiring the aging releasee
   32         to be given specified information in certain
   33         instances; providing rulemaking authority; providing
   34         an effective date.
   36  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   38         Section 1. Section 945.0912, Florida Statutes, is created
   39  to read:
   40         945.0912 Conditional aging release.—
   41         (1) CREATION.—There is established a conditional aging
   42  inmate release program within the department for the purpose of
   43  determining eligible inmates who are appropriate for such
   44  release, supervising the released inmates, and conducting
   45  revocation hearings as provided for in this section. The program
   46  must include a panel of at least three people appointed by the
   47  secretary or his or her designee for the purpose of determining
   48  the appropriateness of conditional aging inmate release and
   49  conducting revocation hearings on the inmate releases.
   50         (2) ELIGIBILITY.—
   51         (a) An inmate is eligible for consideration for release
   52  under the conditional aging inmate release program when the
   53  inmate has reached 70 years of age and has served at least 10
   54  years on his or her term of imprisonment.
   55         (b) An inmate may not be considered for release through the
   56  program if he or she has ever been found guilty of, regardless
   57  of adjudication, or entered a plea of nolo contendere or guilty
   58  to, or has been adjudicated delinquent for committing:
   59         1. A violation of any of the following sections which
   60  results in the actual killing of a human being:
   61         a. Section 775.33(4).
   62         b. Section 782.04(1) or (2).
   63         c. Section 782.09.
   64         2. Any felony offense that serves as a predicate to
   65  registration as a sexual offender in accordance with s.
   66  943.0435; or
   67         3. Any similar offense committed in another jurisdiction
   68  which would be an offense listed in this paragraph if it had
   69  been committed in violation of the laws of this state.
   71         (a)1. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary, an
   72  inmate in the custody of the department who is eligible for
   73  consideration pursuant to subsection (2) must be considered for
   74  conditional aging inmate release.
   75         2. The authority to grant conditional aging inmate release
   76  rests solely with the department. An inmate does not have a
   77  right to such release.
   78         (b) The department must identify inmates who may be
   79  eligible for conditional aging inmate release. In considering an
   80  inmate for conditional aging inmate release under the program,
   81  the department may require the production of additional evidence
   82  or any other additional investigations that the department deems
   83  are necessary for determining the appropriateness of the
   84  eligible inmate’s release.
   85         (c) The department must refer an inmate to the panel
   86  established under subsection (1) for review and determination of
   87  conditional aging inmate release upon his or her identification
   88  as potentially eligible for release pursuant to this section.
   89         (d) If the case that resulted in the inmate’s commitment to
   90  the department involved a victim, and the victim specifically
   91  requested notification pursuant to s. 16, Art. I of the State
   92  Constitution, the department must notify the victim of the
   93  inmate’s referral to the panel immediately upon identification
   94  of the inmate as potentially eligible for release under this
   95  section. Additionally, the victim must be afforded the right to
   96  be heard regarding the release of the inmate.
   97         (4) DETERMINATION OF RELEASE.—
   98         (a) Within 45 days after receiving the referral, the panel
   99  established in subsection (1) must conduct a hearing to
  100  determine whether the inmate is appropriate for conditional
  101  aging inmate release.
  102         (b) A majority of the panel members must agree that the
  103  inmate is appropriate for release pursuant to this section.
  104         (c) An inmate who is denied conditional aging inmate
  105  release by the panel may have the decision reviewed by the
  106  department’s general counsel, who must make a recommendation to
  107  the secretary. The secretary must review all relevant
  108  information and make a final decision about the appropriateness
  109  of conditional aging inmate release pursuant to this section.
  110  The decision of the secretary is a final administrative decision
  111  not subject to appeal. An inmate who is denied conditional aging
  112  inmate release may be subsequently reconsidered for such release
  113  in a manner prescribed by rule.
  114         (5) RELEASE CONDITIONS.—
  115         (a) An inmate granted release pursuant to this section is
  116  released for a period equal to the length of time remaining on
  117  his or her term of imprisonment on the date the release is
  118  granted. The aging releasee must comply with all reasonable
  119  conditions of release the department imposes, which must
  120  include, at a minimum:
  121         1. Supervision by an officer trained to handle special
  122  offender caseloads.
  123         2. Active electronic monitoring, if such monitoring is
  124  determined to be necessary to ensure the safety of the public
  125  and the releasee’s compliance with release conditions.
  126         3. Any conditions of community control provided for in s.
  127  948.101.
  128         4. Any other conditions the department deems appropriate to
  129  ensure the safety of the community and compliance by the aging
  130  releasee.
  131         (b) An aging releasee is considered to be in the care,
  132  custody, supervision, and control of the department and remains
  133  eligible to earn or lose gain-time in accordance with s. 944.275
  134  and department rule. The aging releasee may not be counted in
  135  the prison system population, and the aging releasee’s approved
  136  community-based housing location may not be counted in the
  137  capacity figures for the prison system.
  139         (a)1.An inmate’s conditional aging inmate release may be
  140  revoked for a violation of any condition of the release
  141  established by the department, including, but not limited to, a
  142  new violation of law.
  143         2. If the basis of the violation of release conditions is
  144  related to a new violation of law, the aging releasee must be
  145  detained without bond until his or her initial appearance, at
  146  which a judicial determination of probable cause is made. If the
  147  judge determines that there was no probable cause for the
  148  arrest, the aging releasee may be released. If the judge
  149  determines that there was probable cause for the arrest, the
  150  judge’s determination also constitutes reasonable grounds to
  151  believe that the offender violated the conditions of the
  152  release.
  153         3. The department must order that the aging releasee
  154  subject to revocation under this paragraph be returned to
  155  department custody for a conditional aging inmate release
  156  revocation hearing as prescribed by rule.
  157         4. A majority of the panel members must agree that
  158  revocation is appropriate for the aging releasee’s conditional
  159  release. If conditional release is revoked pursuant to this
  160  paragraph, the aging releasee must serve the balance of his or
  161  her sentence with credit for the actual time served on
  162  conditional aging inmate release. The releasee’s gain-time
  163  accrued before recommitment may be forfeited pursuant to s.
  164  944.28(1). If the inmate whose conditional aging inmate release
  165  is revoked subject to this paragraph would otherwise be eligible
  166  for parole or any other release program, he or she may be
  167  considered for such release program pursuant to law.
  168         5. An aging releasee whose release has been revoked
  169  pursuant to this paragraph may have the revocation reviewed by
  170  the department’s general counsel, who must make a recommendation
  171  to the secretary. The secretary must review all relevant
  172  information and make a final decision about the appropriateness
  173  of the revocation of conditional aging inmate release pursuant
  174  to this paragraph. The decision of the secretary is a final
  175  administrative decision not subject to appeal.
  176         (b) If the aging releasee subject to revocation under
  177  paragraph (a) elects to proceed with a hearing, the releasee
  178  must be informed orally and in writing of the following:
  179         1. The alleged violation with which the releasee is
  180  charged.
  181         2. The releasee’s right to be represented by counsel.
  182  However, this subparagraph does not create a right to publicly
  183  funded legal counsel.
  184         3. The releasee’s right to be heard in person.
  185         4. The releasee’s right to secure, present, and compel the
  186  attendance of witnesses relevant to the proceeding.
  187         5. The releasee’s right to produce documents on his or her
  188  own behalf.
  189         6. The releasee’s right of access to all evidence used
  190  against the releasee and to confront and cross-examine adverse
  191  witnesses.
  192         7. The releasee’s right to waive the hearing.
  193         (7) RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.—The department may adopt rules as
  194  necessary to implement this section.
  195         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.