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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Chapter 948
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F.S. 948.51
948.51 Community corrections assistance to counties or county consortiums.
(1) LEGISLATIVE INTENT.The purpose of this section is to:
(a) Divert nonviolent offenders from the state prison system by punishing such offenders with community-based sanctions, thereby reserving the state prison system for those offenders who are deemed to be most dangerous to the community.
(b) Forge a partnership between the state and the correctional and public safety programs and facilities within a county or consortium of counties so that state funds may be effectively contractually disbursed to counties or county consortiums to build and operate corrections and public safety programs.
(c) Promote accountability of offenders to their community by requiring financial restitution to victims of crime and by requiring public service to be performed for local governments and community agencies.
(d) Make victim restitution a greater priority and provide closer monitoring of offenders to ensure payment to victims.
(e) Maintain safe and cost-efficient community correctional programs that also require supervision and counseling, and substance abuse testing, assessment, and treatment of appropriate offenders.
(f) Provide sanctions, services, treatment, and alternative punishments that are available to the judge at sentencing and for pretrial intervention.
(g) Reduce, for contracting counties and county consortiums, both the percentage of nonviolent felony offenders committed to the state prison system and the percentage of nonviolent misdemeanants committed to the county detention system by punishing such offenders within the community or by requiring them to reside within community-based facilities.
(h) Require nonviolent offenders to meet their community obligations by maintaining employment, thereby providing resources for their families, service to the community, and payment for their cost of supervision and treatment.
(i) Extend the average length of supervision and commitment to a correctional program for those sentenced to community corrections programs beyond the actual time that they would have received at the state level.
(2) ELIGIBILITY OF COUNTIES AND COUNTY CONSORTIUMS.A county, or a consortium of two or more counties, may contract with the Department of Corrections for community corrections funds as provided in this section. In order to enter into a community corrections partnership contract, a county or county consortium must have a public safety coordinating council established under s. 951.26 and must designate a county officer or agency to be responsible for administering community corrections funds received from the state. The public safety coordinating council shall prepare, develop, and implement a comprehensive public safety plan for the county, or the geographic area represented by the county consortium, and shall submit an annual report to the Department of Corrections concerning the status of the program. In preparing the comprehensive public safety plan, the public safety coordinating council shall cooperate with the juvenile justice circuit advisory board established under s. 985.664 in order to include programs and services for juveniles in the plan. To be eligible for community corrections funds under the contract, the initial public safety plan must be approved by the governing board of the county, or the governing board of each county within the consortium, and the Secretary of Corrections based on the requirements of this section. If one or more other counties develop a unified public safety plan, the public safety coordinating council shall submit a single application to the department for funding. Continued contract funding shall be pursuant to subsection (5). The plan for a county or county consortium must cover at least a 5-year period and must include:
(a) A description of programs offered for the job placement and treatment of offenders in the community.
(b) A specification of community-based intermediate sentencing options to be offered and the types and number of offenders to be included in each program.
(c) Specific goals and objectives for reducing the projected percentage of commitments to the state prison system of persons with low total sentencing scores pursuant to the Criminal Punishment Code.
(d) Specific evidence of the population status of all programs which are part of the plan, which evidence establishes that such programs do not include offenders who otherwise would have been on a less intensive form of community supervision.
(e) The assessment of population status by the public safety coordinating council of all correctional facilities owned or contracted for by the county or by each county within the consortium.
(f) The assessment of bed space that is available for substance abuse intervention and treatment programs and the assessment of offenders in need of treatment who are committed to each correctional facility owned or contracted for by the county or by each county within the consortium.
(g) A description of program costs and sources of funds for each community corrections program, including community corrections funds, loans, state assistance, and other financial assistance.
(3) DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES.The Department of Corrections shall:
(a) Administer this section within the goals and mandates of this legislation.
(b) Report by January 1 of each year to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on the effectiveness of participating counties and county consortiums in diverting nonviolent offenders from the state prison system.
(c) Establish, in cooperation with the governing bodies of counties and municipalities and with school boards, a program to provide technical assistance, education, and training to local governments, nonprofit entities and agencies, and public safety coordinating councils regarding community corrections and the provisions of this section.
(d) Develop minimum standards, policies, and administrative rules for the statewide implementation of this section.
(e) Develop and implement a community corrections partnership contract process and procedure.
(f) Review community public safety plans and provide contract funding.
(g) Conduct a review, as often as necessary but not less than annually, of all program measures, to ensure program accountability.
(a) The Secretary of Corrections may contract for the issuance of community corrections assistance funds, as appropriated by the Legislature, to an eligible contracting county or county consortium for the purposes of:
1. Providing community-based corrections programs within county-owned or county-contracted residential probation programs.
2. Providing nonincarcerative diversionary programs, including pretrial release programs, for juvenile offenders or adult offenders who would otherwise be housed in a county detention facility, a state juvenile detention facility, or a state correctional institution.
3. Providing community-based drug treatment programs, both outpatient and residential, by licensed providers.
4. Funding costs for the enhancement of programs within county detention facilities.
5. Funding costs for the enhancement of public safety and crime prevention programs.
(b) Programs, services, and facilities that may be funded under this section include, but are not limited to:
1. Programs providing pretrial services.
2. Specialized divisions within the circuit or county court established for the purpose of hearing specific types of cases, such as drug cases or domestic violence cases.
3. Work camps.
4. Programs providing intensive probation supervision.
5. Military-style boot camps.
6. Work-release facilities.
7. Centers to which offenders report during the day.
8. Restitution centers.
9. Inpatient or outpatient programs for substance abuse treatment and counseling.
10. Vocational and educational programs.
11. Rehabilitative community reentry programs that provide services that assist offenders in successfully reentering the community. Such services may include, but are not limited to, assistance with housing, health care, education, substance abuse treatment, and employment.
(c) The application and contract submitted to the department by the public safety coordinating council may include provisions for funding the anticipated costs of providing health care to offenders placed in a program or facility funded under this section.
(d) Upon the award of community corrections assistance funds, the department shall disburse one-third of the funds for provision of the services described above and shall thereafter disburse the remaining funds on a quarterly basis.
(e) Except as provided in this paragraph, contracting counties or county consortiums may not use any community corrections assistance funds for any of the following purposes:
1. Fixed capital outlay in construction, addition, renovation, or operation of any adult or juvenile secure detention facility;
2. Construction, addition, renovation, or operation of any state facility; or
3. Salary of any state probation and parole officer.

However, community corrections assistance funds may be used to acquire, renovate, and operate county-owned residential probation facilities or programs.

(5) CONTINUED CONTRACT FUNDING.In order to remain eligible for continued contract funding, a contracting county or county consortium must substantially comply with the goals, standards, and objectives set forth in its comprehensive public safety plan and with the standards established in this section. Each contracting county or county consortium shall participate with the Department of Corrections in an evaluation of its program effectiveness in a format to be determined by the department, with particular emphasis placed upon attainment of the goals specified in paragraphs (2)(c) and (d). The department is responsible for the costs of performing the evaluation. If the department determines that a county or county consortium, in the course of its regular business and recordkeeping practices, is unable, without additional funds, to comply with the department’s request for information necessary to perform an evaluation, the department shall reimburse reasonable additional recordkeeping expenses incurred by the county or county consortium during the evaluation process.
(6) NONCOMPLIANCE WITH PLAN.If the Secretary of Corrections determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that a contracting county or county consortium is not substantially complying with its plan or with the standards established in this section, the secretary shall give 30 days’ written notice to the governing board of the county, or the governing board of each county within the consortium, and the chair of the public safety coordinating council. If the secretary then finds noncompliance by such contracting county or county consortium, the secretary shall require the governing board of the county, or the governing board of each county within the consortium, to provide a written agreement as to how and when the specific deficiencies identified by the secretary will be corrected. If no such agreement is submitted to the secretary within the time limit specified, or if such deficiencies are not corrected within 45 days after such an agreement has been approved by the secretary, the secretary may suspend any part or all of the funding until compliance is achieved.
(7) ALLOCATION OF FUNDS.The department shall allocate the funding for these contracts to counties and county consortiums to the extent authorized in the General Appropriations Act.
(8) For the purposes of this section, the term “public safety” does not include the investigative, patrol, or administrative activities of a law enforcement agency.
History.s. 4, ch. 91-225; s. 33, ch. 92-310; s. 6, ch. 94-265; s. 43, ch. 95-283; s. 35, ch. 97-194; s. 20, ch. 98-204; s. 60, ch. 98-280; s. 12, ch. 2000-135; s. 120, ch. 2006-120; s. 1, ch. 2010-96; s. 4, ch. 2013-118.