What is the purpose of the commission?
The Florida Commission on Offender Review has two primary roles in the criminal justice system.
- The commission acts as an investigative body that supports the Board of Executive Clemency in considering petitions for clemency by offenders.
- The commission seeks to protect public safety by determining the suitability of releasing certain offenders from incarceration and setting the terms and conditions of supervision for post-prison releases.
What services are provided by the commission?
The commission provides the following services.
- Clemency. Clemency is a constitutionally authorized process through which a convicted felon may seek restoration of their civil rights. The commission serves as an investigative body that supports the Board of Executive Clemency (composed of the Governor and members of the Florida Cabinet, which consists of the Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Chief Financial Officer). The commission reports to the board the circumstances; criminal records; and social, physical, mental, and psychiatric conditions and histories of persons under consideration by the board for pardon, commutation of sentence, or remission of fine, penalty, or forfeiture. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission completed 5,639 clemency cases.
- Parole Determination.The commission conducts administrative, quasi-judicial hearings to determine whether to release offenders on parole or conditional medical release. Only those inmates whose offenses occurred before 1983 (up until 1995 for capital felony cases) are eligible for parole. As of June 2018, there were 4,275 inmates who were eligible for parole consideration.In Fiscal Year 2017-18, 1,499 parole release decisions were made, resulting in 16 inmates being released on parole.
- Supervision Term and Condition Setting. The commission sets terms and conditions of supervision for parole, conditional release, addiction recovery supervision, and conditional medical release such as mandatory drug treatment, anger management counseling, and/or restrictions on where the offender may reside. As of June 2018, there were 448 parolees on supervision.
- Offender Revocation. The commission makes final determinations regarding alleged violations of parole, conditional release, addiction recovery release, control release, and conditional medical release.Upon a finding of fact that an offender has violated the terms and conditions of his or her release, the commissioners may vote to revoke supervision and return the offender to prison, continue supervision, terminate supervision, or amend the terms of supervision. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission made 1,626 revocation determinations.
- Victim Assistance. The commission notifies and solicits input from victims of offenders being considered for parole, clemency, or conditional medical release.In addition, the commission gathers information about the nature of the crime to assist in determining whether aggravating factors (e.g., torture, excessive brutality) were present.In setting the presumptive parole release date, the commission may use this information to increase the date at which the inmate is first eligible for parole. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission provided 21,369 victim assists.
- Warrants. The commission issues warrants for the arrest of violators on parole, conditional release, addiction recovery release, control release, and conditional medical release. In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the commission issued 2,020 warrants.
Who is on the commission?
How well does the commission perform?
The commission's Long Range Program Plan lists goals and corresponding objectives designed to provide for public safety and increased efficiency.
- Goal 1-Select individuals appropriate for parole. The objective is to identify individuals who will succeed as law-abiding citizens.For Fiscal Year 2017-18, 100% of inmates paroled during the reporting period successfully completed their first three years of supervision without revocation. The commission's projected goal was 90%.
- Goal 2-Ensure informed decision-making. The objective is to provide complete and accurate information to the Commission on Offender Review and Board of Executive Clemency. For Fiscal Year 2017-18, 99.8% of the case records contained no factual errors. The commission's projected goal was 98%.
- Goal 3-Guarantee timely decisions.The objective is to complete the revocation process within specific timeframes. For Fiscal Year 2017-18, 99.8% of revocation cases were completed within 90 days of final hearing. The commission's projected goal was 99%.
- Goal 4-Ensure informed decision-making. The objective is to ensure that eligibility determinations and investigatory information provided to the Board of Executive Clemency, for Without a Hearing cases, contain no factual errors. For Fiscal Year 2017-18, 99.8% of without a hearing cases contained no factual errors. The commission's projected goal was 99%.
- Goal 5-Ensure informed decision-making. The objective is to ensure that eligibility determinations and investigatory information provided to the Board of Executive Clemency, for with a hearing cases, contain no factual errors. For Fiscal Year 2017-18, 100% of With a Hearing cases contained no factual errors. The commission's projected goal was 99%.
How are these activities funded?
In 2019, the Florida Legislature enacted Chapter 2019-162, Laws of Florida, which made substantive changes to the Florida Election Code and implemented Amendment 4 to the Florida Constitution, which was approved by voters in November 2018. This amendment restored the voting rights of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation. The amendment does not apply to those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses, who continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting rights on a case-by-case basis. The law took the following actions. • Specifies that completion of all terms of sentence means any portion of a sentence, including the following. o Nonmonetary-Release from any term of imprisonment, and release from any term of supervision including, but not limited to, probation, community control, or parole. o Monetary-Completion of victim restitution and any fines or fees ordered by the court as a condition of any form of supervision. Completion defined as actual payment, the termination of such financial obligation by the court upon the payee's approval, or completion of all community service hours, if the court converts the financial obligation to community service. • Defines which offenses constitute murder and felony sexual offenses. • Establishes an eligibility verification process that provides that the Department of State makes the initial determination of whether the information is credible and reliable regarding whether a person is eligible to vote under Article VI, s. 4, of the Florida Constitution, and forwards the information to appropriate local supervisor of elections. The supervisor of elections verifies and makes the final determination whether a person who registers to vote is eligible, but they may request additional assistance from the Department of State.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website
Where can I get more information?
Other Reports 2017-18 Annual Report, Florida Commission on Offender Review. Reports and Publications, Florida Commission on Offender Review Commission on Offender Review - Parole, Conditional Medical Release Program, and Selected Administrative Activities - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2019-025, September 2018. Commission on Offender Review - Post-Prison Supervisory Release Programs and Selected Administrative Activities - Operational Audit, Auditor General Report No. 2017-005, August 2016. Websites of Interest Executive Office of the Governor, Clemency/Pardons Florida Office of the Attorney General, Crime Victims' Services U.S. Parole Commission Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan
What are the applicable statutes?
Article IV, Section 8, Constitution of the State of Florida, and Ch. 947, Florida Statutes.
Whom do I contact for help?
Gina Giacomo, Director, Division of Administration, 850-488-3415 Website