FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Greg Newburn
Conservative Coalition Supports Mandatory Minimum
Sentencing Reform in Florida
TALLAHASSEE—A coalition of leading national and state conservative groups today sent a letter to Florida House and Senate leadership in support of mandatory minimum drug sentencing reforms that are currently under consideration in the legislature.
The letter was signed by representatives of national conservative and libertarian organizations including Americans for Tax Reform, FreedomWorks, the American Conservative Union Foundation, Prison Fellowship, Right on Crime, Reason Foundation, R Street Institute, the Coalition for Public Safety, and FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums), as well as Florida-based think tanks the James Madison Institute and Florida TaxWatch and two national law enforcement advocacy groups.
The letter describes mandatory minimum drug sentences as “centralized, one-size-fits-all laws” that “waste taxpayer dollars … fill prisons … and divert scarce resources away from investigating more serious crimes, supporting local law enforcement, and compensating victims,” and notes that several states, including Georgia, South Carolina, and Mississippi, have all reformed mandatory minimums in recent years.
“This letter sends a clear and unambiguous message: sentencing reform is a conservative cause,” said Greg Newburn, FAMM’s State Policy Director and a longtime advocate for mandatory minimum reform in Florida.
Newburn said he hoped the letter would help build legislative support for sentencing reform this session, specifically HB 731 by Rep. Katie Edwards (D, Plantation) and SB 1436 by Sen. Jeff Clemens (D, Lake Worth). “HB 731 and SB 1436 implement the principles supported in this letter,” Newburn said. “Every state that has reformed mandatory minimum drug laws has seen lower prison populations, reduced corrections costs, and lower crime rates. Florida taxpayers deserve those same benefits.”
FAMM, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, promotes commonsense sentencing and prison policies that increase public safety.
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