Contact: Rabiah Burks
FAMM Statement on Florida Department of Corrections Budget Shortfall
Tallahassee – FAMM Director of State Policy Greg Newburn issued the following statement on proposed budget cuts to transitional housing, drug-treatment programs, and reentry services to make up for a nearly $30 million Department of Corrections budget deficit:
“For years FAMM has been telling anyone who will listen that Florida’s prison system is untenable and growing more dangerous by the day. Year after year, lawmakers have been given commonsense options to reduce Florida’s expensive and unnecessary overreliance on incarceration, and they haven’t delivered. Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana saw similar crises on the horizon, and their leaders took the necessary steps to prevent them. This is a short-term budget crisis, but it reflects a long-term crisis of leadership.
“For too long, Florida has preferred criminal justice policy that is perceived to be politically convenient to policy that actually works. So, even if this crisis is fixed in the short term, we’ll be back again soon. The only way to create long-term stability in our corrections system is to do what dozens of other states have done already, and that’s passing comprehensive sentencing reform that saves money and keeps crime rates low.”
An estimated 3,000 inmates are currently taking part in community-based programming, job training, and substance abuse treatment around Florida. Advocates have warned that cuts to these services means those men and women may have to go back to prison or jail to finish their sentences.
FAMM is a nonpartisan, national advocacy organization that promotes fair and effective criminal justice reforms to make our communities safe. Founded in 1991, FAMM promotes change by raising the voices of families and individuals who are directly affected by counterproductive sentencing and prison policies.
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