(1) The Correctional Policy Advisory Council is created within the Legislature for the purpose of evaluating correctional policies, justice reinvestment initiatives, and laws affecting or applicable to corrections, and for the purpose of making findings and recommendations on changes to such policy, reinvestment initiatives, and laws. The council shall serve in an advisory capacity to the Legislature and the Governor.
(2) A Justice Reinvestment Subcommittee within the Correctional Policy Advisory Council is created to review the availability of alternative sanctions for low-level drug and property offenders; the effectiveness of mental health and substance abuse diversion programs; the effectiveness of prison reentry practices; the feasibility of implementing a progressive sanctions system for probationers; the impact of jail overcrowding on the effectiveness of local alternative programs and sanctions; the effectiveness of supervision strategies; and the delivery of supervision and programs in neighborhoods that have a high proportion of supervised offenders.
(3) Any recommended change to correctional policies, justice reinvestment initiatives, or laws affecting or applicable to corrections must be consistent with the following goals:
(a) Protecting public safety, including, but not limited to, ensuring the incarceration of violent criminal offenders and nonviolent criminal offenders who commit repeated acts of criminal behavior and who have demonstrated an inability to comply with less restrictive penalties previously imposed for nonviolent criminal acts; and
(b) Providing for the most cost-effective and efficient use of correctional resources to the extent that such use is not in conflict with paragraph (a).
(4)(a) The council shall be composed of 10 members, consisting of two members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate; two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; one representative of the victim advocacy profession appointed by the Attorney General; the Attorney General or her or his designee; and the Secretary of Corrections or her or his designee. The following members shall be appointed by the Governor: one state attorney from a list of three nominees recommended by the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association; one public defender from a list of three nominees recommended by the Public Defenders Association; and one private attorney from a list of three nominees recommended by the President of The Florida Bar. The chair of the council shall be selected by the members for a term of 1 year.
(b) The chair of the council shall appoint members of the council to serve in a Justice Reinvestment Subcommittee to carry out the duties provided in subsection (2) and designate ex officio members from state or local agencies to serve as technical assistance advisors to the subcommittee.
(c) The council shall meet at least quarterly, and other meetings may be called by the chair upon giving 7 days’ notice to the public. The council may take public testimony.
(d) Members of the council shall serve without compensation, but are entitled to reimbursement for per diem and travel expenses, which shall be paid by the appointing entity.
(e) The Office of Legislative Services shall provide administrative staff support for the council. The Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research shall provide technical and substantive staff support. The council staff members shall consist of an executive director and any other staff member determined to be necessary to the completion of the council’s duties, subject to appropriations. Upon request of the chair of the council or the executive director, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, the Department of Corrections and any other state agency or department, and the Office of the State Courts Administrator shall assist the council in providing necessary data collection, analysis, and research.
(f) The chair of the council shall develop a technical assistance agreement with the Justice Center of the Council of State Governments to work with the Justice Reinvestment Subcommittee to accomplish the review of the effectiveness of correctional policies as provided in subsection (2). The agreement shall include, but not be limited to, procedures for the Justice Center of the Council of State Governments to access the data collection, analysis, and research capabilities of the agencies and offices listed in paragraph (e).
(5) On or before January 15 of each year, the council shall provide a report of its findings and recommendations to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The council may provide the Legislature and the Governor with additional reports of findings and recommendations at any time it deems appropriate. The council may integrate the recommendations of the Justice Reinvestment Subcommittee in its report or may issue a separate report reflecting the findings of the subcommittee.
(6) The President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of Representatives may also direct the council to report by a certain date the council’s findings and recommendations regarding an issue pertinent to correctional policies, justice reinvestment initiatives, or laws affecting or applicable to corrections.