Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Florida Must Get Smart with Prisons"

The Florida Times Union published an editorial today highlighting a thorough study from the Pew Center on the States:
Florida led 35 states in increasing prison time from 1990 through 2009, according to a new study from the Pew Center on the States.
The average time behind bars increased by 166 percent. That implies the average time was low in 1990, and it was.
Florida went from the state with the shortest time served to one of the longest
The piece continues by outlining possible causes, posing the question "is it worth it?' and concluding with alternatives.  It is pointed out that Florida should take a cue from a state most people would not think is progressive regarding prison reform:
One of the leaders in the smart justice approach is Texas, hardly known as a soft-on-crime state. Texas began this in 2007, shifting nonviolent prisoners out of jail and funding less expensive alternatives.
Gov. Rick Perry has led the way in proposing smart justice reforms in the Judge Roy Bean state.
If Texas can do it, then Florida can.


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