Elderly Prison Populations Compromise Safety

Officials in Florida are concerned about their aging prison populations. Older prisoners require more medical care and increase costs. And with prison having to dedicate their scare resources to these populations, safety is compromised in other areas. To address the problem, it has been suggested that they consider early release for elderly non-violent offenders.

Florida’s prison population is rapidly increasing despite declining crime rates, and the latest report from Florida TaxWatch recommends options to prevent increasing costs from overwhelming taxpayers. The report, Florida’s Aging Prisoner Problem, warns that the steadily growing elderly prison population in state facilities will require more costly medical care, resulting in additional budget concerns for an already struggling Department of Corrections.

“Community safety is the first thing to consider when addressing criminal justice reform, but Florida has options to reduce costs and actually improve public safety.” said Dominic M. Calabro, president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. “Florida taxpayers and policymakers must understand the rapidly incurring costs that accompany aging prisoners so that smart policies can be pursued that prevent either ballooning costs or quick fixes to jeopardize the safety and security of Florida citizens.”

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Enhancing Public Safety & Right-Sizing Florida’s Criminal Justice System

Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Crime asking the right questions:

Which criminal laws are overlapping, obsolete, overbroad or vague, or lacking a mens rea provision?

What percent of offenders in community corrections and prison are paying the restitution they owe?

Which treatment, education, and work programs most reduce re-offending for each type of offender?

How many low-risk offenders are going to prison?

How many probationers and parolees are revoked for rule violations who could be safely supervised and treated given sufficient resources?

Click here to view the Powerpoint on improving Florida’s Criminal Justice System

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Vikrant Reddy on Florida criminal justice policy

ROC Senior Policy Analyst Vikrant Reddy discusses Florida’s 85% mandatory minimum sentence requirement with Florida’s WFLA 970.

“Time behind bars may be part of what contributes to public safety, but it’s not all of it. There are other factors involved; it’s very complicated.”

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“Conservative Group Continues Push for Criminal Justice Reform”

“Right on Crime aims at reform on both the federal and state levels. The underlying idea is to use prisons for people who would harm society, not for non-violent offenders causing no injury to body or property.”

Click here to read more.

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Bill Reforming Florida’s Juvenile Justice System Has Some Calling For More Reform

Bob McClure, ROC signatory and president of the James Madison Institute, “applauds the effort” of Florida’s bill to reform juvenile justice, but believes that more can be done.

“We feel it important to codify the principles and practices borne out by research in Florida’s juvenile justice program that saves money and ensures positive outcomes for children.”

Click here for the full story.

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