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The Florida Bar

Sentencing Guidelines

Legal information institute

The state of Florida uses sentencing guidelines when determining the length of a prison sentence. The DOC does not determine the length of sentence. Judges and juries in accordance with the sentencing guidelines make these decisions. For the year 2005-2006, the average sentence length for all prison admissions was 4.4 years for whites, 4.7 years for blacks, and 5.0 years for all others. The average sentence length for all offenders admitted in 2005-2006 was 4.6 years. After the new legislation was passed in October of 1995, offenders who committed their offenses after that date are required to serve a minimum of 85% of their court-imposed sentence. Thus the average amount of time served for any sentence for offenders released in January 2007 was 86.4% of their sentence. In the last 10 years the average percentage of sentences served for released offenders increased from 67.7% in 1997 to 86.4% in 2007.

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