Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rethinking life sentences for nonviolent crimes

Today's New York Times covers cases of people sentenced to life in prison for nonviolent offenses. It is time we think these type of sentences, and start reviewing people for potential release.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Civil Citations save money, improve justice

A new strategy of issuing civil citations instead of making arrests has a lot of potential. Read the guest column from today's Sarasota Herald Tribune.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Right on Crime

A very interesting group called Right on Crime publishes a monthly newsletter. I recommend that you subscribe. Here is the November, 2012 issue.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Vote NO on Amendment Five!

There are eleven constitutional amendments. Some are worse than others. Amendment Five is terrible for the court system. It violates the separation of powers and gives the Legislature unwarranted control over the courts. This article gives more details. Vote NO on Five.
Great graph showing the positive impact of drug courts in Florida.

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Federal Judge Speaks Out Against Mandatory Minimum Sentencing

Federal Judges usually keep their thoughts to themselves. But this one could no longer remain silent.
    In this powerful article, he describes how he has been forced to incarcerate more than 1,000 citizens for extended periods of time, whether or not it had anything to do with justice or public safety.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Veteran's Treatment Courts

We have made progress on Veteran's courts in Manatee and Sarasota counties but we can do better. Watch this segment to understand this approach to justice.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Working with inmates in the county jail

This article is promising. We all have an obligation to try and prevent recidivism among inmates. Many people in the Manatee County jail (and the Sarasota County jail) are in for minor offenses and can become productive citizens.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Problem with our Court System

The real problem for our courts in Florida is that the legislature has not adequately funded any aspect of the system for many years.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Does increased incarceration reduce crime?

Florida has significantly increased it's rate of incarceration. Has this reduced crime? At what cost?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Governor Scott does not believe in criminal justice reform

"Support for prison reform that cuts costs and curbs recidivism is growing among Florida's business, civil rights, law enforcement and legal communities." Unfortunately, Governor Scott is not on board.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Should the Tea Party Support Criminal Justice Reform?

After all, the biggest portion of most state government budgets goes to mass incarceration. If you are serious about reducing costs, start thinking about getting smart on crime.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Override Veto of Promising Prison Reform

After years of work, the legislature passed the first prison reform bill in some time. Unfortunately the bill was vetoed. The legislature should make it a priority to override this veto. A great discussion is found here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Is Reentry the key to Rehabilitation?

Most prisoners will be released. What shall we do with them then? This article suggests that we must focus on reentry into society.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Should Incarcerated Pregnant Women be Shackled?

My answer is no. The bill prohibiting this practice has now landed on Governor Scott's desk. The bill, if signed into law, will establish humane and uniform rules for the treatment of pregnant women who are incarcerated in any prison, jail or detention in Florida. Read all about it here. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Know your Rights (or not)

Interesting case, how well informed do you have to be about your rights before you plead guilty to a misdemeanor?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Go To Trial: Crash the System

The premise of this article is that if more people exercised their right to a trial, the criminal justice system coulod not handle the consequences. Very interesting.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

As crime drops, fewer prisons are needed

The crime rate in Florida as fallen by almost fifty percent over the past 20 years. This means we need a lot fewer prisons.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Florida to close 11 correctional facilities

The state of Florida is closing seven of its state prisons and four work camps for a savings of roughly $90 million through 2013. But what wasn't clear after Thursday's announcement was how many of the nearly 1,300 employees who work at those facilities, including corrections officers, would still have jobs. "I'm not going to guarantee we can place everyone," said Corrections Secretary Kenneth S. Tucker. He did say he would reach out to other state agencies and county sheriffs to find jobs for corrections workers. [Source: AP]