TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With Florida’s prison population one of the largest in the country, lawmakers have made a concentrated push to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the state correctional system. The latest report by Florida TaxWatch, the state’s premier, non-partisan government watchdog, offers a detailed analysis of the state’s sentencing, incarceration, prisoner, and correctional budget histories, allowing policy makers and the public to identify areas in need of improvement regarding corrections.
“The sections outlined in Florida TaxWatch’s latest paper, Corrections in Context, seek to highlight existing trends in Florida sentencing and corrections to help uncover opportunities for reform and allow for future improvement of policies and processes in these areas,” said Florida TaxWatch President and CEO Dominic M. Calabro. “By remaining vigilant in the continued examination of these characteristics and patterns, Florida’s criminal justice system will be more efficient and effective, see better outcomes, and lessen strain on its taxpayers and residents.”
Among it’s key findings, the report finds an increased prevalence of mental illness in Florida prisons and that the majority of Florida’s offenders are sanctioned for non-violent crimes.
While Florida’s approach to corrections has made great strides to keep dangerous criminals off the streets and rehabilitate those who wish to turn over a new leaf, there is always room for improvement. It is imperative that the state constantly examines its sentencing guidelines, correctional programs and procedures, and the status of its inmates in an effort to improve the functionality of its correctional system.
“It is time that Florida moves its criminal justice system into the 21st century by implementing data-driven and evidence-backed public policy that ensures public safety for all Floridians, while reducing the monetary burden on hard-working taxpayers and reversing decades of growth in our prisons and jails,” said Senator Jeff Brandes, who represents the 24th District.
Corrections in Context can be read here.