Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1908
       By Senator Pizzo
       38-01914-21                                           20211908__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to gain-time for certain women
    3         prisoners; creating s. 944.243, F.S.; defining the
    4         term “violent felony”; specifying that a pregnant
    5         prisoner or a prisoner who is the mother of a child of
    6         a certain age sentenced to a state correctional
    7         institution is eligible under certain circumstances to
    8         earn or receive gain-time in an amount that would
    9         cause her sentence to expire, end, or terminate after
   10         serving 65 percent of the sentence imposed; amending
   11         ss. 921.002 and 944.275, F.S.; conforming provisions
   12         to changes made by the act; providing an effective
   13         date.
   15         WHEREAS, the absence of the mother of a young child on a
   16  daily basis may lead to problems and disorders connected to such
   17  absence for the child, and
   18         WHEREAS, a mother’s presence soothes a child’s stress and
   19  helps to regulate a child’s emotions, and
   20         WHEREAS, a mother’s extended absence can cause a child to
   21  experience higher levels of stress and anxiety, and
   22         WHEREAS, the more emotionally and physically present a
   23  mother can be for her child, the better the chance that child
   24  will be emotionally healthy and mentally well, NOW, THEREFORE,
   26  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   28         Section 1. Section 944.243, Florida Statutes, is created to
   29  read:
   30         944.243 Gain-time for pregnant prisoners or prisoners who
   31  are mothers of young children.—
   32         (1)As used in this section, the term “violent felony”
   33  means the commission of, an attempt to commit, or a conspiracy
   34  to commit any offense enumerated in s. 775.084(1)(c)1.
   35         (2)A prisoner sentenced to a state correctional
   36  institution who is a pregnant prisoner as defined in s. 944.241
   37  or who is the mother of a child 3 years of age or younger at the
   38  time the offense or offenses were committed is eligible to earn
   39  or receive gain-time under s. 944.275 in an amount that would
   40  cause the sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that would
   41  result in the prisoner’s release, after serving 65 percent of
   42  the sentence imposed if:
   43         (a)No offense for which the prisoner was convicted is a
   44  violent felony;
   45         (b)The prisoner has demonstrated good behavior while
   46  incarcerated; and
   47         (c)The prisoner has participated in at least one
   48  educational or rehabilitative program while incarcerated, if
   49  such education or rehabilitative program was available.
   50         Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
   51  921.002, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   52         921.002 The Criminal Punishment Code.—The Criminal
   53  Punishment Code shall apply to all felony offenses, except
   54  capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998.
   55         (1) The provision of criminal penalties and of limitations
   56  upon the application of such penalties is a matter of
   57  predominantly substantive law and, as such, is a matter properly
   58  addressed by the Legislature. The Legislature, in the exercise
   59  of its authority and responsibility to establish sentencing
   60  criteria, to provide for the imposition of criminal penalties,
   61  and to make the best use of state prisons so that violent
   62  criminal offenders are appropriately incarcerated, has
   63  determined that it is in the best interest of the state to
   64  develop, implement, and revise a sentencing policy. The Criminal
   65  Punishment Code embodies the principles that:
   66         (e) The sentence imposed by the sentencing judge reflects
   67  the length of actual time to be served, shortened only by the
   68  application of incentive and meritorious gain-time as provided
   69  by law, and may not be shortened if the defendant would
   70  consequently serve less than the specified percentage 85 percent
   71  of his or her term of imprisonment as provided in s. 944.275(4).
   72  The provisions of chapter 947, relating to parole, do shall not
   73  apply to persons sentenced under the Criminal Punishment Code.
   74         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 944.275, Florida
   75  Statutes, is amended to read:
   76         944.275 Gain-time.—
   77         (4)(a) As a means of encouraging satisfactory behavior, the
   78  department shall grant basic gain-time at the rate of 10 days
   79  for each month of each sentence imposed on a prisoner, subject
   80  to the following:
   81         1. Portions of any sentences to be served concurrently
   82  shall be treated as a single sentence when determining basic
   83  gain-time.
   84         2. Basic gain-time for a partial month shall be prorated on
   85  the basis of a 30-day month.
   86         3. When a prisoner receives a new maximum sentence
   87  expiration date because of additional sentences imposed, basic
   88  gain-time shall be granted for the amount of time the maximum
   89  sentence expiration date was extended.
   90         (b) For each month in which an inmate works diligently,
   91  participates in training, uses time constructively, or otherwise
   92  engages in positive activities, the department may grant
   93  incentive gain-time in accordance with this paragraph. The rate
   94  of incentive gain-time in effect on the date the inmate
   95  committed the offense which resulted in his or her incarceration
   96  shall be the inmate’s rate of eligibility to earn incentive
   97  gain-time throughout the period of incarceration and may shall
   98  not be altered by a subsequent change in the severity level of
   99  the offense for which the inmate was sentenced.
  100         1. For sentences imposed for offenses committed prior to
  101  January 1, 1994, up to 20 days of incentive gain-time may be
  102  granted. If granted, such gain-time shall be credited and
  103  applied monthly.
  104         2. For sentences imposed for offenses committed on or after
  105  January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995:
  106         a. For offenses ranked in offense severity levels 1 through
  107  7, under former s. 921.0012 or former s. 921.0013, up to 25 days
  108  of incentive gain-time may be granted. If granted, such gain
  109  time shall be credited and applied monthly.
  110         b. For offenses ranked in offense severity levels 8, 9, and
  111  10, under former s. 921.0012 or former s. 921.0013, up to 20
  112  days of incentive gain-time may be granted. If granted, such
  113  gain-time shall be credited and applied monthly.
  114         3. For sentences imposed for offenses committed on or after
  115  October 1, 1995, the department may grant up to 10 days per
  116  month of incentive gain-time.
  117         (c) An inmate who performs some outstanding deed, such as
  118  saving a life or assisting in recapturing an escaped inmate, or
  119  who in some manner performs an outstanding service that would
  120  merit the granting of additional deductions from the term of his
  121  or her sentence may be granted meritorious gain-time of from 1
  122  to 60 days.
  123         (d) Notwithstanding the monthly maximum awards of incentive
  124  gain-time under subparagraphs (b)1., 2., and 3., the education
  125  program manager shall recommend, and the Department of
  126  Corrections may grant, a one-time award of 60 additional days of
  127  incentive gain-time to an inmate who is otherwise eligible and
  128  who successfully completes requirements for and is, or has been
  129  during the current commitment, awarded a high school equivalency
  130  diploma or vocational certificate. Under no circumstances may an
  131  inmate receive more than 60 days for educational attainment
  132  pursuant to this section.
  133         (e) Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)3., for sentences
  134  imposed for offenses committed on or after October 1, 2014, the
  135  department may not grant incentive gain-time if the offense is a
  136  violation of s. 782.04(1)(a)2.c.; s. 787.01(3)(a)2. or 3.; s.
  137  787.02(3)(a)2. or 3.; s. 794.011, excluding s. 794.011(10); s.
  138  800.04; s. 825.1025; or s. 847.0135(5).
  139         (f) Except as provided in s. 944.243, an inmate who is
  140  subject to subparagraph (b)3. is not eligible to earn or receive
  141  gain-time under paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or
  142  paragraph (d) or any other type of gain-time in an amount that
  143  would cause a sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that
  144  would result in a prisoner’s release, prior to serving a minimum
  145  of 85 percent of the sentence imposed. For purposes of this
  146  paragraph, credits awarded by the court for time physically
  147  incarcerated shall be credited toward satisfaction of 85 percent
  148  of the sentence imposed. Except as provided by this section, a
  149  prisoner may not accumulate further gain-time awards at any
  150  point when the tentative release date is the same as that date
  151  at which the prisoner will have served 85 percent of the
  152  sentence imposed. State prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment
  153  shall be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives,
  154  unless granted pardon or clemency.
  155         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.