A powerful business lobby wants Florida to deal with its exploding inmate population by releasing nonviolent offenders rather than building more prisons. And they have found backing with the Governor.
The bottom line here folks is that if you commit a crime in Florida you are more likely to go to jail than just about in any state in America. We are last in education but in the top three of locking people up. And then releasing them to do it all over again. There's a better way. We just need more thoughtful approaches to dealing with a wealth of non violent crimes, and more enlightened prosecutors to work with defense attorneys in fashioning sentences that have reasonable results, but still adequately protect the public.
For example, if I told you that tomorrow I had a guy facing a mandatory year in jail for giving a massage, you would not believe it would you? You would say this can't happen because unlicensed massages are second degree misdemeanors. But what if the guy was charged with practicing a regulated health profession without being licensed? Then it becomes a felony with mandatory time.
Welcome to Broward County. Wish me luck in the morning. Here is the Herald story on prisons.