Criminal justice reforms in good shape for passage

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The Florida legislature is expected to pass a massive criminal justice reform package before the session ends.

(Source: Pxhere/MGN Online)

The bill would raise the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $750. It also reduces the penalty for a third offense of driving with a suspended license from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Under the bill, prisoners will also be able to participate in job training that will carry with them once they are released.

Sponsor Senator Jeff Brandes says this bill is the first step towards more comprehensive criminal justice reform.

“We're really focused on making sure that Florida has the best criminal justice system in the United States. It doesn't today. My goal is after the next few years it will,” said Brandes.

Brandes had hoped to include more discretion for judges to divert from some mandatory minimum sentences and allow for certain prisoners to earn additional gain time. He says those are issues that will be revisited next year.