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FLORIDA SENATORS PROPOSE BILLS THAT COULD RESULT IN MINOR PRISON REFORM.

FLORIDA SENATORS PROPOSE BILLS THAT COULD RESULT IN MINOR PRISON REFORM (BY MELVIN PEREZ). In this article I am going to write about several bills that have been proposed. A proposed bill is a bill that has been made to be presented to the legislators or senators for a vote. In this case, to the Florida Senate. They are not the law, just someone wanting them to be the law. There is a process that a bill must go though before it becomes law. The purpose of this writing is to bring you the facts and dispel misinformation that is very common around this time of the year in the Florida Department of Corrections. FLORIDA SENATE 2019 BILL 1212. This proposed bill introduced by Senator Bracy makes the following proposals to existing law, Florida Statute 944.275(4)(b)4. For sentences imposed for offenses committed on or after July 1, 2019, the department may grant up to 20 days per month of incentive gain-time, except that: a. If the offense is a nonviolent felony, as defined in s. 948.08(6), the prisoner is not eligible to earn any type of gain-time in an amount that would cause a sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that would result in a prisoner's release, before he or she serves a minimum of 65 percent of the sentence imposed. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, credits awarded by the court for time physically incarcerated must be credited towards satisfaction of 65 percent of the imposed. A prisoner who is granted incentive gain-time pursuant to this sub-subparagraph may not accumulate further gain-time awards at any point when the tentative release date is the same as that date at which the prisoner will have served 65 percent of the sentence imposed. State prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment must be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives, unless granted pardon or clemency. b. If the offense is not a nonviolent felony, as defined in s. 948.08(6), the prisoner is not eligible to earn any type of gain-time in an amount that would cause a sentence to expire, end, or terminate, or that would result in a prisoner's release, before he or she serves a minimum of 85 percent of the sentence imposed. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph, credits awarded by the court for time physically incarcerated must be credited towards satisfaction of 85 percent of the sentence imposed. A prisoner who is granted incentive gain-time pursuant to this sub-subparagraph may not accumulate further gain-time awards at any point when the tentative release date is the same as that date at which the prisoner will have served 85 percent of the sentence imposed. State prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment must be incarcerated for the rest of their natural lives, unless granted pardon or clemency. What is means is that this proposal will not affect anyone sentenced to life imprisonment in the Florida DOC or any person serving time for a violent felony. The only changes would apply to nonviolent felony offenders who commit crimes after July, 2019. FLORIDA SENATE 2019 BILL 1446. This bill introduced by Senator Rouson seeks to change the current law to add the following: Florida Statute 775.082(11) If a defendant is sentenced for a primary offense of possession of a controlled substance committed on or after October 1, 2019, and if the total sentence points pursuant to s. 921.0024 are 60 points or fewer, the court must sentence the offender to a nonstate prison sanction. However, if the court makes written findings that a nonstate prison sanction could present a danger to the public, the court may sentence the offender to a state correctional facility pursuant to this section. As used in this subsection, the term "possession of a controlled substance" means possession of a controlled substance in violation of s.893.13 but does not include possession with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver a controlled substance or possession of a controlled substance in violation of s.893.135. (12)(a) A defendant who is convicted of an offense committed on or after October 1, 2019, which requires that a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment be imposed may move the sentencing court to depart from the minimum term and, if applicable, the mandatory fine. The state attorney may file an objection to the motion. (b) The court may grant the defendant's motion if the court finds that the defendant has demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that all of the following criteria are met: 1. The defendant has not previously received a departure under this section and has not been previously convicted of the same offense for which he or she requests a departure under this section. 2. The offense is not a forcible felony as defined in s.776.08 or a misdemeanor that involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against another person. However, burglary of an unoccupied structure or conveyance is not considered a forcible felony for purposes of this subparagraph. 3. The offense does not involve physical injury to another person or coercion of another person, and 4. The offense does not involve a victim who is a minor or the use of a minor in the commission of the offense.(c) As used in this subsection, the term "coercion" means: 1. Used or threatened to use physical force against another person, or 2. Restraining or confining or threatening to restrain or confine another person without lawful authority and against his or her will. (d) This subsection does not apply to sentencing pursuant to subsection (9),s.775.0837,s.775.084, or s. 794.0115. This proposal also has the 65 percent for nonviolent coming in after October, 2019. The only different about this bill is that a person serving a life sentence for non capital offense can be released after serving 20 years with no disciplinary violations during that time. Most of these proposals, if passed, would only affect a small number of people currently in the FDOC. I will keep you posted on any future development on these bills or others related to FDOC.


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P.O Box 2667 - Miami Gardens , Fl 33055

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