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. 35 36 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 37 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. 70 (3) REFERRAL FOR CONSIDERATION.— 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. 138 (6) REVOCATION HEARING AND RECOMMITMENT.— 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.