criminal justice reform

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Despite past failed legislative attempts, a bipartisan pair of lawmakers is vowing to continue their work on criminal justice reform—particularly within Florida’s prison system.

Christopher Schmidt via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmatic/

A top priority of Florida’s Senate President is now ready for a floor vote. But after some political maneuvering, the bill also contains a controversial amendment targeting the state Supreme Court. The change could challenge lawmakers’ loyalties.

Florida Channel

Advocates of criminal justice reform in Florida hope the state legislature will address some of their top priorities in the upcoming legislative session. But a big push for structural changes to reduce the prison population are difficult because of a limited amount of money, resources and political will.

The Florida Public Defender Association says making holistic changes to the state’s criminal justice system would make it more fair and save money. But some lawmakers seem to be focused just on juvenile justice reform.

Bill Proctor
leoncountyfl.gov

The son of Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor will remain in jail for now. 

Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee)
Florida Senate / Florida Senate

For the first time in two decades, the Republican-led Florida Senate is getting its first black Democratic criminal justice chair. It's a former state Representative turned Senate freshman.

James Madison Institute

Florida lawmakers should take a comprehensive approach to reforming the state’s criminal justice system. That’s according to a new poll by a free market think-tank.

Melfoody/ flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/melfoody/

The White House is actively encouraging law enforcement agencies to diversify their forces to reflect the communities they serve. The Leon County Sheriff’s Office is pretty close.

Tom Woodward/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/

After blocking attempts to relax marijuana ordinances, the Leon County Commission will discuss diversion programs for minor offenses.

Juan Alvarez/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/juanferralvarez/

Law enforcement from Baltimore, Ferguson and Sanford gathered in North Florida this week for a conference on community policing. Following the high profile killings in those cities, some departments are transforming their officer training.

Deadline Approaches For Victim Protections Bill

Apr 4, 2016
Beth Cortez-Neavel/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bethcortez-neavel/20699620022/

Governor Rick Scott has until Wednesday to act on a bill that could expand protections for victims of abuse.

The Leon County Jail officials say they’re meeting federal standards in fighting sexual assault behind bars. The Sheriff’s Office has been working on attaining certification for the past year.

The Sentencing Project / http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=133

This Tuesday, Florida voters weighed in on who should be the next president of the United States. But some 1.5 million Floridians are left out of that voting process: convicted felons.

Alex Proimos/ flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/proimos/4199789866/

Since the 1970s, the hard on crime ethos has fueled the era of mass incarceration. Simultaneously, the country defunded public mental health services. A ballooning criminal justice system came in to fill that vacuum. Now the Florida Legislature is poised to reform the way mental illness is handled in that system.

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Under Florida law, people must be mentally competent before they stand trial. Now some state lawmakers are working on reforms for defendants who are incompetent. While a similar proposal was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott in 2013, this year the measure could get another chance.

prison cells
Thomas Hawke via Flickr

Crime rates continue to fall across the country, while incarceration rates reach historic levels. A non-partisan panel came together Thursday to examine the relationship between incarceration and crime.

scales of justice
Blogtrepreneur / http://www.blogtrepreneur.com/media-justice/

The Florida Bar Board of Governors is pushing back against the state’s expert witness testimony law. The law determines what kind of scientific testimony can be brought before a court of law.

www.talgov.com / https://www.talgov.com/mayor/commission-officials-gillum.aspx

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is weighing in on criminal justice reform at a national summit this week.