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Fixing Florida’s Prison Problems One Inmate at a Time

February 1st, 2018 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida’s prison population has grown 373 percent over the last 40 years, while the state population has only doubled over the same time period. Taxpayers are now spending more than 2 billion dollars to house 96 thousand prisoners. A study commissioned by the State Senate is recommending a handful of ways to reduce the population without risking safety. Len Engel is with the Crime and Justice Institute.

“Sending low level offenders to prison is more likely to increase their criminal behavior. Secondly, longer prison terms for low level offenders do not reduce recidivism more than shorter terms of incarceration. Third, treatment programs delivered in the community are more effective than programs delivered in prison” Engle told reporters at a news conference.

Lawmakers are looking to raise the threshold for felony theft, and to require low level non violent drug offenders spend any time in local jails.

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