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Serving Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, and Volusia Counties

CR-2020-030-SC

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF FLORIDA, SEVENTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT IN AND FOR FLAGLER, PUTNAM, ST. JOHNS AND VOLUSIA COUNTIES

Re: Criminal (Felony) Alternative VOP Sanctions Program

Ref: CR-2020-030-SC

WHEREAS, many technical violations of probation or community control do not involve new arrests or other serious violations, and

WHEREAS, arresting and incarcerating certain non-violent offenders for minor violations of probation or community control is expensive and often unproductive, and

WHEREAS, holding offenders accountable by applying swift and certain sanctions for technical violations of probation or community control can reduce recidivism is supported by research, and

WHEREAS, potential benefits of administratively processing certain technical violations include:

  • fewer probation and community control violation hearings,
  • fewer law enforcement resources required to serve violation warrants for certain technical violations,
  • a reduction in the number of offenders awaiting violation hearings while in jail, and
  • offering offenders an alternative to a violation hearing in court, allowing offenders to remain engaged in employment, school, treatment, etc., and providing offenders with an opportunity to take immediate responsibility for their actions and consequences of those actions;

NOW THEREFORE, I, RAUL A. ZAMBRANO, Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial Circuit of Florida, hereby order that the following provisions apply to the Felony Alternative V.O.P. Sanctions program in the Seventh Judicial Circuit.   

1.  ELIGIBILITY.  In order to be eligible for the program, offenders must have been placed on probation or community control under the supervision of the Department of Corrections by a judge in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, or Volusia counties; have stable community ties; and have a stable residence in the county where sentenced.  Offenders who are eligible for the program include probation offenders (including drug offenders) and community control supervision offenders.  The program applies only to offenders who have committed certain technical violations addressed in the Alternative Sanctions Program Violation/Sanction Matrix included in this order.  The threat an offender poses to public safety is an important factor in determining eligibility.  Offenders with lengthy or violent criminal backgrounds (including sex offenders) are not eligible for the program.  Additionally, offenders who are charged with new law violations, have absconded, or have violated a “no contact” condition of supervision are not eligible for the program.  Offenders with three or more previous violations are not eligible for the program.

2.  QUALIFYING TECHNICAL VIOLATIONS AND APPROVED SANCTIONS.  The following matrix lists the specific technical violations that may be addressed through the Alternative Sanctions process for offenders who were sentenced in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns, or Volusia counties.  Each technical violation includes a list of sanctions determined and approved by the court for the probation officer to select from when reporting these technical violations, based on an individual offender’s circumstances at the time of the violation.

ALTERNATIVE SANCTIONS PROGRAM VIOLATION/SANCTION MATRIX

LOW RISK VIOLATIONS:
APPROVED LIST OF SANCTIONS FOR FIRST OR SECOND LOW-RISK VIOLATIONS:
  • A positive drug or alcohol test result.
  • Failure to report to the probation office.
  • Failure to report a change in address or other required information.
  • Failure to attend a required class, treatment or counseling session, or meeting.
  • Failure to submit to a drug or alcohol test.
  • A violation of curfew.
  • Failure to meet a monthly quota on any required probation condition, including, but not limited to, making restitution payments, paying court costs, or completing community service hours.
  • Leaving the county without permission.
  • Failure to report a change in employment.
  • Associating with a person engaged in criminal activity.
  • Any other violation as determined by administrative order of the chief judge of the circuit.
  • Up to 5 days in the county jail.
  • Up to 50 additional community service hours.
  • Counseling or treatment.
  • Support group attendance.
  • Drug testing.
  • Loss of travel or other privileges.
  • Curfew for up to 30 days.
  • House arrest for up to 30 days.
  • Any other sanction as determined by administrative order of the chief judge of the circuit.
MODERATE-RISK VIOLATIONS:
APPROVED LIST OF SANCTIONS FOR FIRST MODERATE-RISK VIOLATION:
  • Any low-risk violation when committed by an offender on community control.
  • Failure to remain at an approved residence by an offender on community control.
  • A third low-risk violation within the current term of supervision.
  • Any other violation as determined by administrative order of the chief judge of the circuit.
  • Up to 21 days in the county jail.
  • Curfew for up to 90 days.
  • House arrest for up to 90 days.
  • Electronic monitoring for up to 90 days.
  • Residential treatment for up to 90 days.
  • Any low-risk violation sanction.
  • Any other sanction as determined by administrative order of the chief judge of the circuit.

3.  ALTERNATIVE SANCTIONS PROGRAM PROCESS

A.  The probation or community control officer shall inform offenders who have committed violations enumerated above that they may participate in the Alternative Sanctions Program for administrative disposition of the violation. No offender is required to participate in the Alternative Sanctions Program and may opt for a formal violation of probation or community control proceeding.

B.  If the offender admits the violation, agrees to accept the administrative sanction(s) recommended by the probation officer, and agrees to waive a formal violation hearing to modify his/her sentence, the probation officer will prepare an “Alternative Sanctions Program Technical Violation Notification”, which will provide details of the circumstances of the technical violation that occurred and the probation officer’s recommended sanction, based on the sanctions listed in the approved matrix.  If the offender agrees to participate in the Alternative Sanctions Program, he/she will sign the second section of the form entitled “Alternative Sanctions Program Waiver of Formal VOP/VOCC Hearing, Admission of Violation, and Acceptance of Sanctions,” which will be submitted to the court once the probation officer signs and dates the form.

C.  The “Alternative Sanctions Program Technical Violation Notification” and waiver form will be submitted to a judge for review.  If the judge agrees that the technical violation should be addressed via the Alternative Sanctions Program and agrees with the recommended sanction, he/she will sign an “Order – Alternative Sanctions Program.”  If the judge does not agree with the particular sanction recommended by the officer or does not agree that the technical violation should be addressed via the Alternative Sanctions Program, he/she will provide further direction.

D.  Upon court approval, the probation officer will instruct the offender on the sanction imposed by the court and instruct the offender to take actions necessary to ensure the sanction is fulfilled promptly.  Failure to complete the imposed sanction as instructed will result in a violation report, affidavit and warrant being submitted to the court.

E.  Participation in the Alternative Sanctions Program is not considered a conviction for a violation of probation or community control (not a scoreable violation) for purposes of Section VI of the Criminal Punishment Code Scoresheet.

TO BE RECORDED in Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties.

DONE AND ORDERED in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida this 22nd day of January 2020.

/s/ Raul A. Zambrano
Raul A. Zambrano
Chief Judge

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Serving Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia Counties