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Florida Legislature Passes Bill That Would Allow Early Release

The Florida Legislature has passed a bill that would allow for prison sentence modification.  Both the House and Senate, has passed bills that would allow for the early release of prisoners held for non-violent offenses.  The bill creates a new law that requires the Florida Department of Corrections to develop a reentry program designed to allow nonviolent offenders to have their incarceration reduced  by allowing them to participate in an intensive substance abuse treatment program.

The reentry program must include prison-based substance abuse treatment, general education development and adult basic education courses. The program must also include vocational training and decision making and personal development training.

In order to qualify for the program the prisoner must meet certain criteria. They must be nonviolent offender which has been defined as a third degree felony offense that is not a forcible felony.  The prisoner must have completed at least half of their sentence and they must have been identified as having the need for substance abuse treatment.

If the nonviolent offender meets the eligibility requirements, the department of corrections must then notify the sentencing court and get their approval for participation in the program.  The state attorney is also notified and may file a written objection for the prisoner's participation in the program.

The prisoner must complete at least six months in the reentry program and if they complete the program then the sentencing judge may order a modification of the sentence to include drug offender probation.  If the offender violates the probation then the court may revoke probation and impose any legal sentence that they see fit.

It seems as though the Florida legislature is finally realizing that addicts needs rehabilitation and not just punishment.  A person who is able to cope with their addiction is less likely to reoffend and will save the tax payers money by reducing recidivism.

7 Comments

I thought that Scot Voteoed bill. O believe it is long over do. The system sets them up to fail now. With background checks, credit checks and all its hard for them to survive once they come out of jails or prisons. With the economy its harder then ever. Sometbing is gonna have to change.
Its a great solution to a epic problem with win win results.

I believe my husband Nicholas falls under this category he is now at the Bridge program in Orlando and has completed the 6 month program..what would be the next step to getting him home he has 13 months left on his sentence.

I BELIEVE MY SON FALLS UNDER THIS CATEGORY HE COMPLETED ALLTHE PROGRAM OF DRUG WHAT WOULD BE THE NEXT STEP TO GETTING HIM HOMEHE HAS 9 MONTH LEFT ON HIS SENTENCE

My son is under this category now.He has completed all the programs he has 6 month left on his sentence.What would be the next step

Ok we read about these options but when will they actually be put into place> So many of our young people are wasting time in Florida Prisons but never receive the actual Rehabilitation from Substance Abuse and that is what lead them down the wrong road to begin with. Why do they continue to waste time and money on a system that proves to be unsucessful??

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