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Bipartisan FL Lawmakers Unveil Criminal Justice Reform Package

Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)
Nick Evans

A bipartisan coalition of Florida lawmakers are pushing two criminal justice reforms meant to roll back mass incarceration.

One proposal would raise the felony threshold for property theft from $300 to $1,500—the same level as neighboring states. 

The other measure would give judges the leeway to depart from mandatory minimum sentences.  Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) says that flexibility is vital in drug cases.

“In many cases the mandatory minimum will still be imposed on individuals,” Brandes says.  “But in certain cases the best thing to happen is individuals go receive treatment for their addictions.”

Brandes’ measure applies to all of Florida’s minimum drug sentences.  But the judge can only depart downward when the offense isn’t part of organized crime, was non-violent, and didn’t result in death or serious injury.