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:

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.

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.

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 In 2016 Florida repealed the mandatory minimum for aggravated assault with a firearm.  


   State Expenses/Budget: 

  • 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 

    Prison Population: 

  • Housed: 98,010 inmates in its 150 correctional facilities
  • Supervised: over 136,500 active offenders on community supervision throughout the state.


How You Can Advocate for Sentencing Reform in Your 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.

Encourage your state lawmakers to support mandatory minimum sentencing reform. Be sure to connect with FAMM and other sentencing reformers on Facebook, Twitter, and by signing up for our email list.

Sentencing/Criminal Justice Reform Groups in this State:

August 2, 2017

Eric Patrick Wright Didn’t Get Justice—and He’s Not Alone

  Contact: Rabiah Burks rburks@famm.org 202.822.6700 Eric Patrick Wright Didn’t Get Justice—and He’s Not Alone   WASHINGTON, DC – FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) President Kevin Ring responded to a Florida appeals court’s decision yesterday to uphold Eric Patrick Wright’s 20-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Wright fired a gun at the ground when an ex-girlfriend barged into his… Read more »

May 31, 2017

Fentanyl Trafficking Bill Goes To Scott

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 Giles

      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 »