Florida lawmakers are calling on Texas for help with overcrowded prisons and shrinking budgets.
Texas Representative Jerry Madden helped reform his state’s prison system. Madden showed Florida lawmakers in Tallahassee today how Texas reduced its prison population and saved money.
Senator Mike Fasano of Pasco County is open to new ideas, but doesn’t want any policy changes to hinder progress the state has already made.
“We want to be very cautious here in Florida. We’ve worked very hard over the years in implementing tough legislation, tough crime legislation on those who commit crimes in the state. The 85 percent rule, three strikes and you’re out, 10/20 life; I don’t want to diminish anything that we’ve been successful doing. The crime rate is down in Florida, and I think a lot of it has to do with going after those who commit crimes and those who are repeat offenders.”
Some of Madden’s ideas to cut the 2.4 billion state tax dollars spent on prisons include reducing sentences for petty drug crimes and focus more resources on keeping released inmates from reoffending.