What is the purpose of the program?
The Office of Community Corrections mission is to protect the community by supervising offenders and reporting non-compliance to the sentencing or releasing authority. Correctional probation officers enforce standard conditions of supervision stipulated by statute, as well as special conditions imposed by the court or sentencing authority, including victim restitution, substance abuse and/or mental health treatment programs, and other sanctions or restrictions. Offenders are monitored through field contacts at their residences, employment sites and other locations in the community. Officers conduct investigations and violation reports. Officers make appropriate referrals to assist the offender with resources available to complete their term of supervision successfully. The office also manages offenders received for supervision from other states through interstate compact agreements.
How many offenders are on community supervision?
As of March 2021, there were 144,446 total offenders on community supervision. Of those offenders, 83,972 were being actively supervised; 30,064 were on active-suspense supervision, meaning they were unavailable for direct supervision (e.g., they were in jail awaiting violation proceedings, in federal custody, pending deportation, or pending transfer out of state); 5,330 were being supervised out-of-state; and 25,080 had absconded from supervision and their whereabouts were unknown.
What types of supervision are there?
Offenders are supervised as directed by the court or the Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR). Types of supervision include contractual agreement, court imposed, and post-prison release.
- Pretrial intervention is a type of supervision intended for first time non-violent offenders. Consent must be obtained from the victim, the state attorney, and in some jurisdictions, as in the case of drug courts, the judge. Offenders sign a contract, agreeing to certain terms and conditions of supervision. If the offender completes the program successfully, charges are dropped. If the offender does not comply with the terms of the contract, the case is referred back to the state attorney for further prosecution.
- Probation is a court-ordered term of community supervision under specified conditions for a specific period of time that cannot exceed the maximum sentence for the offense. It is the most common type of community supervision. The offender on probation is required to abide by all conditions ordered by the court, such as not violating the law, monthly reporting requirements, not changing residence or employment or leaving the county without consent from probation officer, paying the costs of supervision and random drug testing and searches.
- Drug offender probation is a more intensive form of supervision, which emphasizes treatment of drug offenders and monitoring of offenders' substance use disorder through field supervision, contact with treatment providers, and random drug testing.
- Sex offender probation is an intensive form of supervision, which emphasizes sex offender treatment and close monitoring in the field to ensure compliance with sex offender conditions of supervision and sex offender registration requirements. For more detailed descriptions of the sex offender standard conditions of supervision, please refer to s. 948.30, Florida Statutes.
- Community control is a form of intensive supervised house arrest, including surveillance on weekends and holidays. Offenders are restricted to their residence, with the exception of being allowed to work, attend treatment, visit the probation office, and limited other occasions that must be approved in advance by the community control officer.
- Parole is a post-prison supervision program where eligible inmates have the terms and conditions of parole set by the Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR), an agency separate from the department that was formerly known as the Florida Parole Commission. The period of parole cannot exceed the balance of the offender's original sentence. Under parole, the offender is to be supervised in the community by Department of Corrections probation officers under specific conditions imposed by the FCOR. Only offenders sentenced for offenses committed prior to October 1, 1983, can be eligible for parole. Even so, there are still more than 5,000 inmates in prison who remain eligible for parole. As of June 2020, 3,959 inmates met parole eligibility criteria and 424 offenders were on parole supervision. Parole violations are reported by probation officers to the FCOR, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.
- Conditional release requires mandatory post-prison supervision for inmates who are sentenced for certain violent crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, and sexual offenses, and who have had a previous commitment to a state or federal institution or have been convicted as a habitual offender or sexual predator. As of June 2020 there were 2,945 releases on conditional release supervision. Upon reaching their release date with accrued gain time, an inmate is placed on conditional release to serve up to the remainder of their sentence. The FCOR imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to conditional release supervision, while Department of Corrections' probation officers provide supervision. In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the commission set the terms and conditions for 5,317 releases. Conditional release violations are reported by probation officers to the FCOR, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison. In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the commission made 1,443 revocation determinations and issued 1,853 arrest warrants.
- Addiction recovery is a form of supervision for certain offenders released from a state correctional facility, convicted of a crime committed on or after July 1, 2001, when the offender has a history of substance abuse or a substance addiction and participated in any drug treatment. As of June 2020, there were 240 offenders on addiction recovery supervision. The FCOR imposes the conditions of supervision on offenders released to addiction recovery supervision, which include substance abuse treatment and random drug testing to monitor substance abuse. In Fiscal Year 2019-20, FCOR set the conditions for 1,035 offenders that were placed in the program. Supervision is provided by Department of Corrections' probation officers. Addiction recovery supervision violations are reported by probation officers to the FCOR, which makes the final determination whether to continue the offender on supervision, modify the conditions of supervision, or revoke the supervision and return the offender to prison.
How long are offenders on community supervision?
As of March 2021, the average community supervision sentence was 4.6 years. The median sentence length was 3.0 years.
What are the responsibilities of a correctional probation officer?
Correctional probation officers
serve to protect the community and provide supervision by
- monitoring and enforcing offender compliance with conditions of supervision;
- reporting non-compliance to the court or the Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR) and providing recommendations for appropriate sanctions;
- visiting the offender in the community to monitor compliance with conditions of supervision, conduct searches and curfew checks, verify residence and employment, and observe attendance at treatment or community service work sites; and
- assisting law enforcement with violation arrests, deportation, sex offender registration requirements, gang or other public safety/crime prevention initiatives or intelligence.
Correctional probation officers also play a part in reducing victimization and recidivism by assisting offenders to succeed by
- working with the offender to identify what is needed to comply with conditions of supervision and change behavior (e.g. employment, stable residence, education, vocational skills, transportation, counseling, etc.);
- holding offenders accountable for their actions and decisions by providing positive reinforcement and incentives to motivate offenders and reward good behavior and by acting quickly, firmly, and fairly to address non-compliance or declining behavior;
- collaborating with community partners to provide services and resources for offenders; and
- maintaining partnerships in the community to provide offenders with services such as transportation, employment assistance, and educational and vocational opportunities.
How many correctional probation officers are there?
As of March 2021, there were 1,884 certified non-supervisory probation officer positions. Probation officers are located in over 130 offices throughout the state.
Can correctional probation officers arrest probation violators?
A probation officer is considered a certified law enforcement position, which allows officers to arrest individuals who are being supervised by the Florida Department of Corrections. Additionally, probation officers are permitted to carry firearms. Each officer must purchase his or her own firearm and must successfully complete firearms qualification requirements with the firearm once a year and achieve a minimum score of 80% set forth by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Are sex offenders supervised the same as all other offenders?
Sex offenders and sexual predators are supervised by probation officers with specialized training. These offenders must comply with additional conditions of supervision provided in statute and are supervised at a higher level than regular probation offenders. Some examples of sex offender conditions imposed include sex offender treatment, curfew, and certain sex offenders (with minor victims) not being allowed to reside within 1,000 feet of a school or child care facility.
How much money does the program collect from offenders?
The court can order offenders to pay financial obligations such as restitution to victims, fines, court costs, and other related payments such as cost of supervision. The department has a computerized payment system into which payments from offenders are received and money is disbursed according to payment priority with restitution to victims being the first priority. In Fiscal Year 2019-20 the department collected more than $86 million in court-ordered obligations.
|Collections for Fiscal Year 2019-20|
|Type of Obligation ||Amount |
|Restitution, Fines, and Court Costs ||$47,306,748|
|Cost of Supervision ||$19,005,250 |
|Other Court-Ordered Payments ||$19,699,938 |
|Total ||$86,011,936 |
|Source: Department of Corrections. |
How are these activities funded?
Fiscal Year: 2021-22
PROGRAM: COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS
- Modification or Continuation of Terms of Probation. The 2021 Legislature passed Chapter 2021-210, Laws of Florida, which amended s. 948.06, Florida Statutes. In 2019, the Legislature passed legislation requiring a court to modify and continue, rather than revoke, probation for specified offenders who violate probation by committing certain technical violations deemed low-risk. A technical violation is any alleged violation of probation that is not a new felony, misdemeanor, or criminal traffic offense. The Legislature intended for this benefit to apply only to offenders meeting multiple eligibility criteria. This law change provides that a court must modify or continue a probationary term upon finding that a probationer has committed certain technical violations when all, rather than any, of the following apply.
• The term of supervision is probation.
• The probationer does not qualify as a violent felony offender of special concern.
• The violation is a low-risk technical violation, as defined in s. 948.06(9)(b), Florida Statutes.
- The court has not previously found the probationer in violation of his or her probation pursuant to a filed violation of probation affidavit during the current term of supervision.
A probationer who has successfully completed sanctions through the alternative sanctioning program is eligible for mandatory modification or continuation of his or her probation.
Administration of Justice. The 2019 Legislature enacted Ch. 2019-167, Laws of Florida, which contains several provisions affecting community corrections.
- Authorizes the court to order or the department to transfer offenders to administrative probation if the offender presents a low risk of harm to the community and has completed at least half of his or her term of probation.
- Requires a court to early terminate or transfer to administrative probation certain compliant probationers upon certain factors being met and provides for exceptions to the requirement.
- Codifies the department's current practice of using graduated incentives to promote compliance with probationers and offenders on community control who are on supervision.
- Requires the court to modify or continue the supervision term of certain low-risk offenders with a first filed violation of probation and provides modification terms and exceptions.
- Requires each circuit to create an alternative sanctions program to handle specified types and occurrences of technical violations of probation or community control with the judge's concurrence.
Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?
Parole and Early Release, Report 19-13, November 2019
Sex Offender Registration and Monitoring Triennial Review - 2018, Report 18-08, December 2018
Contracted Study: An Examination of Florida's Prison Population Trends, Report 17-CRJ, May 2017
Where can I get more information?
What are the applicable statutes?
Chapter 948, Florida Statutes.
Whom do I contact for help?
Department of Corrections, 850-488-5021