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Reduction in crimes may mean not as much money for prison budget

By Sascha Cordner

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-992040.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – State-run prison facilities in Florida may not receive as much money this year, due to a lower amount of certain crimes being committed in the state. As Sascha Cordner reports, the chair of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee came to that conclusion after listening to a presentation Tuesday.

According to a report given by a representative from the Office of Economic Demographic Research, Florida is seeing a decrease in non-violent crimes, but, at the same time, more people are getting arrested. Republican Representative Gayle Harrell of Port Saint Lucie says this is still good news.

"The overall result is you have fewer crimes, but you are catching more of them. You still have a decrease in the numbers of prison beds needed because the number of new commitments is down."

Harrell says that means the cost of the prison system will be less, AND there will be no need to build new prison facilities because there is no need for prison beds. Harrell is the chair of the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, which listened to a presentation Tuesday about figures that will affect prison budgets in the upcoming year.