Melvin C. Alldredge Civil Litigation; Trial Practice; Personal Injury Law; Wrongful Death Law; Criminal Litigation
Address: 4914-A S.W. 72nd Avenue
Miami, Florida 33155 (Miami-Dade County - South Florida)
Florida's Drug Offenders - An Analysis of Criminal Careers
During the past several Florida legislative sessions and throughout the year, policy-makers, Florida's Office of Drug Control and researchers have requested information concerning drug offenders in Florida. While the FSAC has provided statistics regarding drug crimes and drug offenders, a more detailed study of drug offenders has not been possible due to limited time and resources. Florida's Drug Offenders: An Analysis of Criminal Careers is designed to address the more detailed questions posed by Florida's policy-makers and practitioners to the FSAC.
For the 2000 to 2001 grant period the FSAC proposed to examine offenders sentenced to the Department of Corrections for a drug crime during the calendar year 1999 to produce a detailed description of criminality of drug offenders in Florida. The resultant study will include a descriptive comparison of offenders sentenced to prison versus those sentenced to state supervision.
This study focuses on those sentenced with a drug crime as their primary offense. While substantial data exist as to the demographic makeup of the sentenced and arrested drug offender populations, detailed data which combines the juvenile and adult criminal arrest events and resulting sanctions has not been developed for research purposes. The proposed study will undertake an unprecedented examination of drug offenders in Florida by compiling the juvenile criminal histories using the data captured by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, the arrest histories using the arrest data submitted by local law enforcement agencies to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and all felony sentencing events using commitment data maintained by the Florida Department of Corrections.
To conduct the study a mechanism to match criminal records across these systems will be developed and made available for future research and evaluation studies examining other offender types. Matching records across the various databases will create a comprehensive description of drug offenders, including the similarities and differences of those sentenced to prison versus those sentenced to state supervision. Descriptions of drug offenders sentenced to state supervision will include comparisons by type of supervision sanction, ranging from pretrial intervention to secure drug treatment.
A description of each group will include a demographic profile (adult/juvenile, race, gender), geographic profile and a breakdown by offense type. When available, specific drug type will be included (a number of drug charges do not include a drug type in the CCH text). A typology of drug offenders will address the variations in drug offender careers (specialization in drug crimes, combination of violent & drug crimes, gun & drug crimes, property & drug crimes, etc.). Additionally, the seriousness of drug offenders and their criminal careers will be quantified using a seriousness index developed from the scoring system developed for the Florida Sentencing Guidelines system.
An FSAC report will be produced for policy makers and the criminal justice community describing the scope of criminality of drug offenders in Florida, including any similarities and differences found between those sentenced to prison versus those sentenced to state supervision. The report will answer the question: Who are the drug offenders being sentenced to the Department of Corrections and what are the differences between inmates and probationers? Additionally, the methodology employed to develop a comprehensive criminal career database will be shared with the Florida Department of Corrections and Juvenile Justice for use by their research units in the analysis and evaluation projects.
The report, which will be delivered to the Bureau of Justice Statistics at the conclusion of the grant period, will include a description of the data sets used, data limitations encountered (if any), and implications for future research. The data sets will be made available to other researchers, but will have specific identifying data (SSN, SID, or Corrections ID) removed to protect the privacy of the subjects. In Florida, the data that will be used for this project are public record.
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