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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

FLORIDA DOESN'T GET THE MESSAGE...

...on not incarcerating non-violent offenders.

That was one of the conclusions of a NY Times Op-Ed piece entitled Prisons and Budgets. The title of the post links to the piece.

From the Op-Ed piece:

The United States, which has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has about one-quarter of its prisoners. But the relentless rise in the nation’s prison population has suddenly slowed as many states discover that it is simply too expensive to over incarcerate

Between 1987 and 2007 the prison population nearly tripled, from 585,000 to almost 1.6 million. Much of that increase occurred in states... that had adopted overly harsh punishment policies, such as the “three strikes and you’re out” rule and drug laws requiring that nonviolent drug offenders be locked away.

These policies have been hugely costly. ..

Michigan, which has been hard hit by the recession, has done a particularly good job of releasing people who do not need to be in prison. ..Michigan reduced its prison population by about 8 percent between March 2007 and November 2009 by taking smart steps, notably doing more to get nonviolent drug offenders out, while helping in their transition to a productive, and crime-free, life.

Not every state has gotten the message. Florida, for example, has a state law mandating that all prisoners serve a high percentage of their sentence, which is both dubious corrections policy and terrible fiscal policy.


4 comments:

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

News & Notes .....

The U.S. Supreme Court announced late Monday that it had dismissed an important pending case over prosecutorial immunity after being alerted that the dispute had been settled. The action stops in its tracks a case that could have produced a landmark decision that many believed would have reined in the longstanding tradition that prosecutors cannot be held liable for their actions as prosecutors.

Oh well, maybe next time?

Cap Out ....

Anonymous said...

What is your point? I think 25 min mandatory sentence for seven percocets is just sound law?

The problem with Florida is that we have so many small towns that are strict bible belt towns. Now times this by the number of County's and districts, whalla, here you have a republican legislator that cannot get elected unless they stand for stupid laws like the above.

It will not change anytime soon. Also given the fact that we are the only State that limits the power of the Governor to issue pardons or commute sentences to clean out the jails of non-violent offenders. Our Governor needs the Attorney General, the Chief Finacial Officer and the Agriculture Commissioner (never could figure that one out) to approve with him all pardons and commuted sentences, without them the Governor is powerless.

Other States like Califirnia give the sole power to the Governor to issue pardons, etc.

On the bright side if you want to start a billion dollar ponzi fraud with the Governor at your side that he can do....

Anonymous said...

I refuse to give any credibility to anyone who actually uses "whalla" in place of "voila."

Anonymous said...

What was the case regarding prosecutorial misconduct?