Florida Senate - 2010                                    SB 2260
       By Senator Crist
       12-01761A-10                                          20102260__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to faith- and character-based
    3         correctional institution programs; amending s.
    4         944.803, F.S.; revising legislative findings;
    5         providing requirements for faith- and character-based
    6         programs; deleting provisions relating to funding;
    7         revising requirements for participation; deleting
    8         provisions relating to assignment of chaplains;
    9         providing an effective date.
   11  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   13         Section 1. Section 944.803, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   14  read:
   15         944.803 Faith- and character-based Faith-based programs for
   16  inmates.—
   17         (1) The Legislature finds and declares that faith- and
   18  character-based faith-based programs offered in state and
   19  private correctional institutions and facilities have the
   20  potential to facilitate inmate institutional adjustment, help
   21  inmates assume personal responsibility, and reduce recidivism.
   22         (2) It is the intent of the Legislature that the department
   23  of Corrections and the private vendors operating private
   24  correctional facilities shall continuously:
   25         (a) Measure recidivism rates for inmates who have
   26  participated in faith- and character-based religious programs.;
   27         (b) Increase the number of volunteers who minister to
   28  inmates from various faith-based and secular institutions in the
   29  community.;
   30         (c) Develop community linkages with secular institutions as
   31  well as churches, synagogues, mosques, and other faith-based
   32  institutions to assist inmates in their release back into the
   33  community.; and
   34         (d) Fund through the use of annual appropriations, in
   35  department facilities, and through inmate welfare trust funds
   36  pursuant to s. 945.215, in private facilities, an adequate
   37  number of chaplains and support staff to operate faith-based
   38  programs in correctional institutions.
   39         (3)(a)The department must have at least six new programs
   40  fully operational. These six programs shall be similar to and in
   41  addition to the current faith-based pilot program. The six new
   42  programs shall be a joint effort with the department and faith
   43  based service groups within the community. The department shall
   44  ensure that an inmate’s faith orientation, or lack thereof, will
   45  not be considered in determining admission to a faith- and
   46  character-based faith-based program and that the program does
   47  not attempt to convert an inmate toward a particular faith or
   48  religious preference.
   49         (b) The programs shall operate 24 hours a day within the
   50  existing correctional facilities and. The programs must
   51  emphasize the importance of personal responsibility, meaningful
   52  work, education, substance abuse treatment, and peer support.
   53         (c) Participation in a the faith-based dormitory program
   54  shall be voluntary. However, at least 80 percent of the inmates
   55  participating in this program must be within 36 months of
   56  release. Assignment to a program these programs shall be based
   57  on evaluation and the length of time the inmate is projected to
   58  be assigned to that particular institution. In evaluating an
   59  inmate for this program, priority shall be given to inmates who
   60  have shown an indication for substance abuse. A right to
   61  substance abuse program services is not stated, intended, or
   62  otherwise implied by this subsection. The department may not
   63  remove an inmate once assigned to a the program except for the
   64  purposes of population management, for inmate conduct that may
   65  subject the inmate to disciplinary confinement or loss of gain
   66  time, for physical or mental health concerns, or for security or
   67  safety concerns. To support the programming component, the
   68  department shall assign a chaplain and a full-time clerical
   69  support person dedicated to each dormitory to implement and
   70  monitor the program and to strengthen volunteer participation
   71  and support.
   72         (4) The Department of Corrections shall assign chaplains to
   73  community correctional centers authorized pursuant to s.
   74  945.091(1)(b). These chaplains shall strengthen volunteer
   75  participation by recruiting volunteers in the community to
   76  assist inmates in transition, and, if requested by the inmate,
   77  placement in a mentoring program or at a contracted substance
   78  abuse transition housing program. When placing an inmate in a
   79  contracted program, the chaplain shall work with the
   80  institutional transition assistance specialist in an effort to
   81  successfully place the released inmate.
   82         (4)(5) The department shall ensure that any faith component
   83  of any program authorized in this chapter is offered on a
   84  voluntary basis and, an offender’s faith orientation, or lack
   85  thereof, will not be considered in determining admission to such
   86  a faith-based program and that the program does not attempt to
   87  convert an offender toward a particular faith or religious
   88  preference.
   89         (5)(6) The department shall ensure that state funds are not
   90  expended for the purpose of furthering religious indoctrination,
   91  but rather, that state funds are expended for purposes of
   92  furthering the secular goals of criminal rehabilitation, the
   93  successful reintegration of offenders into the community, and
   94  the reduction of recidivism.
   95         Section 2. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.

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