Florida Rules for Community Control Probation

By Elizabeth (Lisa)Thompson

Florida, like other states, mandates specific probation rules through legislation for criminal offenders. These probationers, who receive supervised release instead of a prison sentence, have the option of remaining in the community if they comply with the terms and conditions of probation. The Florida Department of Corrections oversees different types of community corrections, including probation.

Summary Probation

Administrative probation, also known as summary probation, means that low-risk offenders may graduate to a less restrictive form of supervision when they successfully complete the first half of their probation terms. They are no longer required to report directly to a probation officer although the department will conduct periodic criminal checks to ensure they remain law-abiding.

Drug Offenders

In Florida, drug offenders receive a closely supervised form of intensive supervision. These offenders receive some individualized terms but general rules include random drug tests, close surveillance by a senior probation officer and ongoing monitoring by the sentencing court.

Sex Offenders

Florida legislation requires that any sex offender who has committed a qualifying crime after September 30, 1995, must be placed on sex offender probation. The court must mandate specific terms and conditions to protect the community. The offender must attend counseling and submit blood specimens to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Home Arrest

Community control, a form of house arrest, offers three components--regular, electronic monitoring and sex offender. Smaller caseloads allow probation officers closer interaction with probationers. This prison diversion program enhances community safety. On electronic monitoring, probation staff can immediately investigate curfew violations. Florida legislation also governs sex offender community control through home arrest and an even stricter approach than regular sex offender probation.

Pretrial Release

The pretrial intervention program diverts prosecution of any non-violent third degree felony if the offender complies with the program requirements. Certain drug offenses also qualify for entry into the program. However, failure to complete the program results in continued prosecution by the State Attorney's Office.

Standard Probation

Standard probation, the most common form of probation, requires that offenders pay court fees, complete community service hours and treatment, report to the probation officer as ordered and receive visits from the probation officer at work or home.