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Tough Enough On Crime .com is a grass roots movement by and for Floridians and their families who have been directly impacted by failed criminal justice policies and laws in Florida. We advocate for true criminal justice reform that will be Tough Enough on Crime. We advocate strongly for now eliminating retroactively (as Amendment 11 now allows this Legislature to do for the first time in history) all current mandatory minimum and enhancement statutes that resulted in too-long prison sentences for a particular crime and instead relying on the existing Criminal Punishment Code to set the right sentence for each particular conviction.

We begin with the principle that Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code (CPC) is the centerpiece and cornerstone for determining the appropriate sentence for a particular crime by a particular person. The CPC process has stood the test of time in Florida as the best method to ensure uniformity of punishment throughout all of Florida including the reduction of racial disparities in sentencing. The CPC takes into all account all relevant factors such as the type of crime, victim impact, prior crimes committed, and other relevant factors in computing its code-score number, which is the minimum prison sentence length in months, and is presumed to be the correct sentence in each particular case.

The CPC code score results in a minimum sentence length that is fair and Tough Enough on Crime in Florida. However, over the  last twenty years, Legislatures of long ago began adding too many laws that overrode the CPC code scores, such as over 100 mandatory minimum length sentence laws, so-called enhancement or re-classification statutes that increased the degree of a crime (such as from a first degree felony to a life-sentence), and laws that prohibited certain prisoners from earning any incentive gain-time at all once in prison (thus giving them zero incentive to obey the rules and behave well, creating a direct threat to the safety of FDOC Correctional Officers).

All of the above laws that overrode the CPC code score sentence have proven to be failed experiments in improving public safety, and have directly and substantially increased prison costs to taxpayers in Florida by increasing sentence lengths beyond the CPC sentence.

By now retroactively repealing/amending all of the mandatory minimum and enhancement/reclassification statutes, and allowing all non-life prisoners to earn the same retroactive 65% gain-time, Florida’s prison population could be reduced from the current 96,000 prisoners to about 70,000 prisoners and so saving over $500 million dollars in prison costs within the first year of the effective date of such changes.

 

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