FL State Cap 3

Background: Florida has one of the highest prison populations and incarceration rates in the country. Like many other states, Florida’s corrections budget has exploded over the past two decades, in part because of strict sentencing laws that do not allow for alternatives to incarceration for even low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Since launching our Florida campaign in 2010, FAMM has focused on reforming Florida’s mandatory minimum drug laws and the “10-20-life” gun sentencing law.

In 2014 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 In 2016 Florida repealed the mandatory minimum for aggravated assault with a firearm.  

Public support for smarter, more effective, and more efficient sentencing is strong and  growing stronger in Florida, and FAMM will continue to use that support to fight for sentencing reform in the Sunshine State.

FAMM Legislative Priorities: For information on problems with Florida’s mandatory minimum laws, and FAMM’s proposals to fix them, click here


Greg Newburn
State Policy Director
P.O. Box 142933
Gainesville, Florida 32614
Phone: (352) 682-2542
Email: gnewburn@famm.org


Led by FAMM’s State Policy Director Greg Newburn, FAMM recently celebrated a very significant legislative victory. For the first time in more than 20 years Florida repealed a mandatory minimum sentence! FAMM has worked for years to reform Florida’s 10-20-Life gun sentencing law. On February 24, 2016, 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.

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.

Please check back for updates!

News & Updates

February 10, 2017

FAMM Hails Drug Sentencing Reform Bill

For Immediate Release Contact: Greg Newburn, FAMM State Policy Director gnewburn@famm.org; 352.682.2542     FAMM Hails Drug Sentencing Reform Bill GAINESVILLE, Fla. – FAMM today praised the introduction of legislation designed to reform Florida’s sentencing laws. HB 731, introduced by Representative Katie Edwards (D, Plantation), builds on sentencing reform legislation Representative Edwards passed in 2014…. Read more »

February 9, 2017

Senate bill would strengthen fentanyl trafficking penalties

Originally seen in Florida Politics. With the opioid epidemic unceasing in the Sunshine State, a bill in the Florida Senate would tighten penalties against trafficking in fentanyl and synthetic drugs. Senate Bill 150, introduced by GOP Sen. Greg Steube from Sarasota, would also impose penalties related to selling, manufacturing, or delivering fentanyl and synthetic drugs “performed within… Read more »

March 16, 2016

Florida FAMM’s Best Session Yet!

Thanks to our Florida FAMM members, 2016 was FAMM’s best session since we launched our Florida Project. I’ll have a more substantive analysis of all of the sentencing-related bills this year, but the good news is this: we repealed one of Florida’s most pernicious mandatory minimums, made big strides toward more comprehensive drug sentencing reforms,… Read more »

March 2, 2016

Revamp Florida’s Clemency Process

(Tampa Bay Times) — Florida’s clemency process too seldom shows clemency. The state’s Executive Clemency Board is opaque in its workings and so rarely uses its power to set prisoners free that its operational structure should be re-examined to ensure that deserving inmates have a chance to make a case for mercy. The board, made… Read more »