March 24, 2015

Against “Political Justice”

In the most recent edition of the Cato Journal, Florida State University economics professor (and James Madison Institute Fellow) Randall Holcombe has an interesting piece titled “Political Capitalism.” According to Holcombe, “Political Capitalism” refers to a system in which “private sector actors are not merely acting within the framework given by government constraints,” but where… Read more »

March 10, 2015

Building New Prisons is Like Raising Taxes: Just Say No.

Over on Twitter, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), the group responsible for the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” explained the idea behind why he thinks raising taxes is unjustified:  Politicians raise taxes when they lack the ability, determination and competence to reform government to cost less. Grover’s idea is simple. In an era when… Read more »

March 4, 2015

What Florida Can (And Should!) Learn From South Carolina

Here in Florida, we generally don’t care much what other states do. (Florida’s first flag featured the cool-now-but-not-so-much-back-then motto, “Let Us Alone.”) Most non-Florida folks don’t get us, and by and large we’re not much interested in getting them, either. They mock us, but, despite our shortcomings, we know they also envy us. Were they able, they’d live here, too. It’s… Read more »

February 4, 2015

Congressional Interest in Sentencing Reform is Bipartisan, Strong as Ever

WASHINGTON, D.C. – FAMM President Julie Stewart today praised the introduction of the Justice Safety Valve Act of 2015 in the U.S. Senate (S. 353) and the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 706). This is a bipartisan, bicameral federal bill that would help reduce high federal prison costs and populations. The bill, introduced in the… Read more »

January 27, 2015

Ron Thompson Goes to Solitary Confinement

I’m told this happened a few years ago, when Thompson was incarcerated the first time.  Mr. Thompson was at Jefferson Correctional Institution in Monticello, FL. He was in poor health, obviously, and at the time his prostate had been giving him trouble. He couldn’t control his bladder, and by extension couldn’t limit bathroom trips to those… Read more »

January 2, 2015

The Most Important Criminal Justice Reform the Florida Legislature Can Pass in 2015

Last year, the legislature passed SB 360, which raised the trafficking threshold weights for oxycodone and hydrocodone, and recalibrated the mandatory minimum for “trafficking” in those drugs. The bill effectively repealed the mandatory minimum for possession or distribution of less than 14 grams of hydrocodone and seven grams of oxycodone, and was a very good… Read more »

December 31, 2014

We Can Save Lives in 2015

This was a great year. Any time we reduce sentences for more than 40,000 prisoners – as we did this summer – I feel like we’re making progress. But I just received a letter from a prisoner named David that reminded me, in stark terms, how much despair there still is behind bars. He wrote:… Read more »


All blog posts older than June 1st 2013, are available at our previous blog.