Smart Justice Legislation
Smart Justice for a Safer Florida
In a state as large and diverse as Florida, ensuring public safety is one of the greatest challenges facing the institutions of government. In order to achieve lower crime rates over the past several decades, the State of Florida has had to dramatically expanded its traditional response: prisons. As a result, Florida’s prison population has more than doubled since 1990 and almost quadrupled since 1984, accompanied by skyrocketing spending on corrections. There are more than 100,000 individuals in Florida prisons, devouring some $2.1 billion per year. The warehousing of inmates has created a generation of prisoners whose time behind bars has only taught them how to be better criminals.
Florida’s economy cannot sustain this approach, and the interests of public safety require something different. Our state needs Smart Justice.
Smart Justice is a comprehensive approach for adjusting inmate behaviors. It is designed to help former offenders live as law-abiding citizens once they get out of prison, so they don’t fall back into the same old habits that put them there in the first place. This reduces recidivism, in turn making our communities safer and easing the burden on taxpayers. Members of the Florida Smart Justice Alliance have come together to transform Florida’s criminal justice system through an approach that introduces hope where, for too long, it seemed to have gone missing – hope for law-abiding citizens, hope for taxpayers, and hope for non-violent offenders who truly want to find a better way.