What is Community Control?

In Florida, Community Corrections overseas over 140,000 offenders each year who are under community supervision, and nearly 5,000 inmates who are out on work release. There are different types of “community supervision” and programs that are under the watchful eye of the Florida Department of Corrections.

Probation for example, is a form of community supervision that involves specific conditions for a set period of time. Probation is ordered by the court and it cannot last longer than the maximum sentence for the offense committed.

When a defendant is placed on probation, he or she must strictly follow all conditions set by the court and if they violate any of the terms of their probation, the probation can be revoked and the individual can be incarcerated.

Probationers are often responsible for the costs of:

  • Supervision (they pay the state)
  • Victim restitution
  • Court costs and fines
  • Various types of treatment they receive

Generally with probation, the probationer is required to meet their supervising officer at a local field office one or more times per a month. Depending on the circumstances, the probationer may receive visits from their supervising officer at their home or work.

Other common types of supervision include: administrative probation (non-contact supervision), drug offender probation, sex offender probation, and community control. Since community control involves intensive supervised house arrest, we are going to go into further detail on this type of supervision.

Community Control in Florida

Community control is more serious than simple probation; it involves supervised house arrest in the community. With this intensive supervision program, the offender is confined to their home unless they have to attend work, school, perform community service, receive treatment, or participate in another important activity that was preapproved by the supervising officer.

The goal of community control is to promote accountability, while providing a realistic alternative to imprisonment. When an offender is placed on community control, he or she will be under surveillance by administrative officers with lighter caseloads, including on weekends and holidays.

If you are placed on community control supervision, also known as “house arrest,” you cannot leave your house to do many of the activities you’re used to doing, such as:

  • Visit friends
  • Visit family
  • Go on vacation
  • Boating or fishing
  • Go out to dinner
  • Go to the movies
  • See sporting events

Even grocery shopping is limited; you are not allowed to make a quick trip to corner market for diapers, cigarettes or milk without it being approved by your officer. When you do go shopping on approved trips, you must show the receipts so the trips will be cross-checked with your daily log.

Community control is an individualized program, in which case the offender’s freedom is restricted, whether they are at home, or in non-institutional residential placement. Each offender under community control will have sanctions imposed upon him or her, and they will be strictly enforced.

Community Control Violations

Like probation, if the offender violates their community control, the court may decide to revoke the community control and remove them from the community by placing them behind bars. According to the Florida Department of Corrections, many of the individuals given the opportunity of community control are prison diversions.

Sometimes an offender will be placed on community control, but they will be electronically monitored. In such cases, they are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by private vendors. If an offender does something such as violates their curfew, the private vendor will immediately notify the appropriate staff of the curfew violation, and the staff will investigate.

If you are facing criminal charges, contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. for a free consultation to discuss your defense strategies and legal options!