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Florida Justice System

Florida and California have more in common than what meets the eye.  Both find themselves having issues with overcrowded prisons and unbalanced state budgets.  Currently, Florida’s budget gap is more than $3 billion.  A major expense to the state is found in their prison systems.  Cost look something like buildings at $100 million each and operations $24 annually!

In aim to both decrease expenses but increase safety, Florida has been hearing what groups such as the Smart Justic Coalition, The Collins Center for Public Policy and even the well respected budget watchdogs of Florida TaxWatch.  In a 2009 summit on justice hosted by the Smart Justice Coalationand Collins Center for Public Safety concluded that states such as Texas have been able to successfully lessen crime while decreasing the public expense of prisons.  Florida should follow in its suit.

These aren’t the only groups of individuals creating buzz around this topic.  Tampa Republican Senator Victor Crist and Orlando Representative Sandy Adams have shared there insight on crime reducing tactics such as a division of nonviolent offends to drug court instead of incarceration.  This would serve as a double “whammy” reducing costs and creating a situation to rehabilitate the behaviors of ex-offenders with civic responsibility.  Among other groups worth mentioning are the Florida Department of Corrections, Fort Lauderdale Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff, Office of Drug Control in the Governor’s Office and the Correctional Policy Advisory Council.

Florida seems to slowly be strategically moving on improving the way their current justice system works in order to make it more cost effective while increasing the safety of its residents.  It would be interesting to get input from an experienced Miami Beach criminal attorney.  It is time the state starts to figure out how to decrease costs while investing in promoting human potential.

Florida is showing signs of intelligent leadership in improving its criminal justice system in a way that enhances public safety while promising to decrease costs.

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