Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 1908
       By the Committee on Criminal Justice; and Senator Pizzo
       591-02934-21                                          20211908c1
    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; providing
   11         that a pregnant prisoner or a prisoner who is the
   12         mother of a child of a certain age is ineligible under
   13         certain circumstances to earn or receive gain-time in
   14         an amount that would cause her sentence to expire,
   15         end, or terminate after serving 65 percent of the
   16         sentence imposed; amending ss. 921.002 and 944.275,
   17         F.S.; conforming provisions to changes made by the
   18         act; providing an effective date.
   20         WHEREAS, the absence of the mother of a young child on a
   21  daily basis may lead to problems and disorders connected to such
   22  absence for the child, and
   23         WHEREAS, a mother’s presence soothes a child’s stress and
   24  helps to regulate a child’s emotions, and
   25         WHEREAS, a mother’s extended absence can cause a child to
   26  experience higher levels of stress and anxiety, and
   27         WHEREAS, the more emotionally and physically present a
   28  mother can be for her child, the better the chance that child
   29  will be emotionally healthy and mentally well, NOW, THEREFORE,
   31  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   33         Section 1. Section 944.243, Florida Statutes, is created to
   34  read:
   35         944.243 Gain-time for pregnant prisoners or prisoners who
   36  are mothers of young children.—
   37         (1)As used in this section, the term “violent felony”
   38  means the commission of, an attempt to commit, or a conspiracy
   39  to commit any offense enumerated in s. 775.084(1)(c)1., s.
   40  827.03, s. 827.071, or s. 827.10.
   41         (2)A prisoner sentenced to a state correctional
   42  institution who is a pregnant prisoner as defined in s. 944.241
   43  or who is the mother of a child 3 years of age or younger at the
   44  time the offense or offenses were committed is eligible to earn
   45  or receive gain-time under s. 944.275 in an amount that would
   46  cause the sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that would
   47  result in the prisoner’s release, after serving 65 percent of
   48  the sentence imposed if:
   49         (a)No offense for which the prisoner was convicted is a
   50  violent felony;
   51         (b)The prisoner has demonstrated good behavior while
   52  incarcerated; and
   53         (c)The prisoner has completed at least one educational or
   54  rehabilitative program while incarcerated, if such education or
   55  rehabilitative program was available. However, if the prisoner’s
   56  participation in an educational or rehabilitative program is
   57  terminated due to a reason other than the prisoner’s voluntary
   58  termination or expulsion from the program for cause, the
   59  prisoner’s participation in the program shall be considered as
   60  completion of the program for purposes of this paragraph.
   61         (3) A pregnant prisoner or a prisoner who is the mother of
   62  a child 3 years of age or younger at the time the offense or
   63  offenses were committed becomes ineligible for release under
   64  this section if the qualifying pregnancy is subsequently
   65  terminated prior to the birth of an infant, or the woman is no
   66  longer the legal parent of a qualifying child due to an adoption
   67  under chapter 63 or termination of parental rights under chapter
   68  39, or similar proceedings in another jurisdiction.
   69         Section 2. Paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section
   70  921.002, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   71         921.002 The Criminal Punishment Code.—The Criminal
   72  Punishment Code shall apply to all felony offenses, except
   73  capital felonies, committed on or after October 1, 1998.
   74         (1) The provision of criminal penalties and of limitations
   75  upon the application of such penalties is a matter of
   76  predominantly substantive law and, as such, is a matter properly
   77  addressed by the Legislature. The Legislature, in the exercise
   78  of its authority and responsibility to establish sentencing
   79  criteria, to provide for the imposition of criminal penalties,
   80  and to make the best use of state prisons so that violent
   81  criminal offenders are appropriately incarcerated, has
   82  determined that it is in the best interest of the state to
   83  develop, implement, and revise a sentencing policy. The Criminal
   84  Punishment Code embodies the principles that:
   85         (e) The sentence imposed by the sentencing judge reflects
   86  the length of actual time to be served, shortened only by the
   87  application of incentive and meritorious gain-time as provided
   88  by law, and may not be shortened if the defendant would
   89  consequently serve less than the specified percentage 85 percent
   90  of his or her term of imprisonment as provided in s. 944.275(4).
   91  The provisions of chapter 947, relating to parole, do shall not
   92  apply to persons sentenced under the Criminal Punishment Code.
   93         Section 3. Subsection (4) of section 944.275, Florida
   94  Statutes, is amended to read:
   95         944.275 Gain-time.—
   96         (4)(a) As a means of encouraging satisfactory behavior, the
   97  department shall grant basic gain-time at the rate of 10 days
   98  for each month of each sentence imposed on a prisoner, subject
   99  to the following:
  100         1. Portions of any sentences to be served concurrently
  101  shall be treated as a single sentence when determining basic
  102  gain-time.
  103         2. Basic gain-time for a partial month shall be prorated on
  104  the basis of a 30-day month.
  105         3. When a prisoner receives a new maximum sentence
  106  expiration date because of additional sentences imposed, basic
  107  gain-time shall be granted for the amount of time the maximum
  108  sentence expiration date was extended.
  109         (b) For each month in which an inmate works diligently,
  110  participates in training, uses time constructively, or otherwise
  111  engages in positive activities, the department may grant
  112  incentive gain-time in accordance with this paragraph. The rate
  113  of incentive gain-time in effect on the date the inmate
  114  committed the offense which resulted in his or her incarceration
  115  shall be the inmate’s rate of eligibility to earn incentive
  116  gain-time throughout the period of incarceration and may shall
  117  not be altered by a subsequent change in the severity level of
  118  the offense for which the inmate was sentenced.
  119         1. For sentences imposed for offenses committed prior to
  120  January 1, 1994, up to 20 days of incentive gain-time may be
  121  granted. If granted, such gain-time shall be credited and
  122  applied monthly.
  123         2. For sentences imposed for offenses committed on or after
  124  January 1, 1994, and before October 1, 1995:
  125         a. For offenses ranked in offense severity levels 1 through
  126  7, under former s. 921.0012 or former s. 921.0013, up to 25 days
  127  of incentive gain-time may be granted. If granted, such gain
  128  time shall be credited and applied monthly.
  129         b. For offenses ranked in offense severity levels 8, 9, and
  130  10, under former s. 921.0012 or former s. 921.0013, up to 20
  131  days of incentive gain-time may be granted. If granted, such
  132  gain-time shall be credited and applied monthly.
  133         3. For sentences imposed for offenses committed on or after
  134  October 1, 1995, the department may grant up to 10 days per
  135  month of incentive gain-time.
  136         (c) An inmate who performs some outstanding deed, such as
  137  saving a life or assisting in recapturing an escaped inmate, or
  138  who in some manner performs an outstanding service that would
  139  merit the granting of additional deductions from the term of his
  140  or her sentence may be granted meritorious gain-time of from 1
  141  to 60 days.
  142         (d) Notwithstanding the monthly maximum awards of incentive
  143  gain-time under subparagraphs (b)1., 2., and 3., the education
  144  program manager shall recommend, and the Department of
  145  Corrections may grant, a one-time award of 60 additional days of
  146  incentive gain-time to an inmate who is otherwise eligible and
  147  who successfully completes requirements for and is, or has been
  148  during the current commitment, awarded a high school equivalency
  149  diploma or vocational certificate. Under no circumstances may an
  150  inmate receive more than 60 days for educational attainment
  151  pursuant to this section.
  152         (e) Notwithstanding subparagraph (b)3., for sentences
  153  imposed for offenses committed on or after October 1, 2014, the
  154  department may not grant incentive gain-time if the offense is a
  155  violation of s. 782.04(1)(a)2.c.; s. 787.01(3)(a)2. or 3.; s.
  156  787.02(3)(a)2. or 3.; s. 794.011, excluding s. 794.011(10); s.
  157  800.04; s. 825.1025; or s. 847.0135(5).
  158         (f) Except as provided in s. 944.243, an inmate who is
  159  subject to subparagraph (b)3. is not eligible to earn or receive
  160  gain-time under paragraph (a), paragraph (b), paragraph (c), or
  161  paragraph (d) or any other type of gain-time in an amount that
  162  would cause a sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that
  163  would result in a prisoner’s release, prior to serving a minimum
  164  of 85 percent of the sentence imposed. For purposes of this
  165  paragraph, credits awarded by the court for time physically
  166  incarcerated shall be credited toward satisfaction of 85 percent
  167  of the sentence imposed. Except as provided by this section, a
  168  prisoner may not accumulate further gain-time awards at any
  169  point when the tentative release date is the same as that date
  170  at which the prisoner will have served 85 percent of the
  171  sentence imposed. State prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment
  172  shall be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives,
  173  unless granted pardon or clemency.
  174         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.