Florida Deserves Better
There’s an opioid crisis in #Florida, and it’s a scary one. But we can’t allow fear to lead us into the arms of terrible policies. Share if you think Florida’s opioid crisis is too important for failed solutions.
Posted by FAMM on Thursday, April 27, 2017
History of Legislation:
Florida raised the threshold weights that trigger mandatory sentences for Oxycodone and hydrocodone trafficking, and recalibrated mandatory sentences for those offenses. It also created a “safety valve” for certain aggravated assault offenses. In 2016 Florida repealed the mandatory minimum for aggravated assault with a firearm.
Governor Rick Scott signed CS/SB 228, which repeals the mandatory minimum sentence for aggravated assault with a firearm! Beginning July 1, 2016 – and for the first time since 1999 – judges will have discretion over sentencing in aggravated assault cases. Learn more here. FAMM has worked for years to reform Florida’s 10-20-Life gun sentencing law.
A new bill to implement a safety valve, a mechanism to enable judges to depart below the mandatory minimum under certain circumstances, has been introduced in the Florida Senate. The bill would restore needed judicial discretion for nonviolent felonies and misdemeanors that carry mandatory minimum sentences. Although it recently passed one committee stop, we do not expect the bill to become law this session; however, we are working closely with the bill’s sponsors and supporters, and hope to lay the groundwork for success in the near future.
HB 731, introduced by Representative Katie Edwards (D, Plantation), builds on sentencing reform legislation Representative Edwards passed in 2014.
The bill raises trafficking thresholds for certain drugs, reduces mandatory sentences for certain drug trafficking offenses, and allows departures from mandatory minimum sentences for lower-level drug offenses. The bill also increases the “sentencing multiplier” for drug trafficking offenses.
- Florida Department of Corrections prison budget = $2.05 million
- Total State cost of prisons = $2.08 billion
- Average annual cost per inmate = $20,553
State Population: 19.89 million people
- Housed: 98,010 inmates in its 150 correctional facilities
- Supervised: over 136,500 active offenders on community supervision throughout the state.
You can do several things to work toward reforming your state’s sentencing laws – go to our get involved page to find out how.
May 31, 2017
Originally published 5/19/17 at Jacksonville.com Federal prosecutors sent a letter last week to defense attorneys in Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando telling them they have two weeks to finalize plea deals or risk sending their clients to prison for much, much longer. The acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida told defense attorneys… Read more »
May 31, 2017
Originally published at WUSF News A bill that would impose minimum mandatory sentences for people who traffic in the synthetic drug fentanyl was sent Tuesday to Gov. Rick Scott. The legislation (HB 477), sponsored by Rep. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, and Sen. Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would impose a minimum three-year sentence for anyone caught with at least four… Read more »
April 11, 2017
Michael is a veteran serving a mandatory 25-year sentence under Florida’s 10-20-Life law after he fired two shots in self-defense, shots that did not seriously injure his attacker. On Feb. 6, 2010, active duty air force serviceman Michael Giles was invited to a Tallahassee nightclub by a few of his friends. Giles,… Read more »
March 24, 2017
Originally seen in Miami Herald Warning that inmate health and safety is at risk at the state’s largest privately run women’s prison, Rep. David Richardson on Thursday asked Gov. Rick Scott to use his emergency powers to replace the top officers and take state control of Gadsden Correctional Facility. In a letter delivered late Thursday, Richardson… Read more »