Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 4

152nd General Assembly (Present)

Bill Progress

Senate Finance 1/9/24
Awaiting consideration in Committee

Bill Details

6/27/23
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11, TITLE 13, AND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, INCLUDING PROBATION.
This Act is a substitute for Senate Bill No. 4. Like Senate Bill No. 4 this Act does the following: In Section 1, adds a definition for “wilful” and “wilfully”, as used throughout the Act. In Section 2: (1) Requires probation and parole officers to use the least restrictive conditions possible to enhance compliance. (2) Requires the probation and parole officers not impose special conditions with which a person cannot in good faith comply. Probation and parole officers must also assess whether the person has the necessary resources to comply with the condition. In Section 3: (1) Removes the prohibition on an incarcerated person receiving access to the Department of Correction’s (“Department”) policy & procedure manuals. (2) Removes prohibition on the disclosure of Department policies and procedures except on the written authority of the Commissioner. In Section 4: (1) Requires that a condition of probation established by Department may not involve a greater deprivation of liberty than is necessary to meet the goals of deterrence, protection of the public, and rehabilitation of the individual on probation. (2) Prohibits the imposition of a condition of supervision that requires paying court fines, fees, supervision-related fees, and supervision-mandated programs. (3) Authorizes the Department to use alternate methods of reporting such as audiovisual communications. (4) Requires the Department to not sanction for use of drugs or alcohol unless part of the criminal offense, failure to complete a program when the costs were unable to be met, failure to follow conditions when mental health conditions prevent compliance, and failure to comply with broad conditions that are impossible to follow. (5) Requires the Department to bear the cost of house arrest programs. (6) Sets criteria for the use of house arrest. In Section 5, reduces the maximum length of the period of probation. In Section 6, revises the process for arrest and disposition of a violation of probation to do the following: (1) Establish standards of proof for the issuance of warrants for alleged violations and establishment of violations. (2) Prohibit incarceration for technical violations. (3) Require that any sentence imposed for a technical or non-technical violation be the least restrictive. (4) Require that sanctions resulting in incarceration must run concurrently and cannot last longer than the original sentence. (5) Create a definition for “technical violation”. In Section 7, repeals the fee for a person applying for an interstate transfer of probation under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. In Section 8: (1) Replaces the forfeiture of earned compliance credit with a process for withholding or revoking earned credits. (2) Allows reduction of probation period by use of earn compliance credits for certain offenses currently prohibited. (3) Requires the Department to provide individuals on probation with a supervision report with credit earned and time remaining on probation every 90 days. In Sections 9 through 12, removes the requirement that individuals on probation or parole must have permission before getting married. In Section 13, repeals the restriction on the disclosure of public records in the Department’s possession when these records are sought by an individual in the Department’s custody. This Act differs from Senate Bill No. 4 as follows: (1) Revises language added by Senate Bill No. 4 to conform the language to terms used in existing Delaware law. (2) Removes a requirement that any proceeds gained from seizures in conducting business with federal authorities must go to contracting with community-based re-entry programs providing evidence-based services. (3) Replaces the requirement that a presentence report prepared for the Superior Court or Court of Common Pleas is under the control of the Court for which the report is prepared, which was inadvertently removed in Senate Bill No. 4. (4) Uses people-first language to refer to an individual on probation. (5) Removes language added by Senate Bill No. 4 to § 4333(d)(1) (regarding probation sentencing for a sexual offense). (6) Removes language added by Senate Bill No. 4 that would require the Statistical Analysis Center to publish data related to the probation system and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. (7) Removes a provision added by Senate Bill No. 4 that would require the court, Board of Parole, or probation and parole officer to provide resources or impose an alternative condition that is not more restrictive than the original condition if the court, Board of Parole, or probation and parole officer determines the person does not have the necessary resources and ability to comply with the condition. (8) Removes a provision added by Senate Bill No. 4 that would prohibit the court, Board of Parole, or probation and parole officer from imposing as a condition of supervision that an individual on probation pay court fines or fees or supervision-related fees, including fees for being on supervision or enrolled in supervision-mandated programs.
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