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Why Less Crimes Does Not Mean Less Incarcerations, Report Shows

Posted by Sara Cooper | Oct 27, 2023 | 0 Comments

Over on the East Coast in Tampa, Florida, crimes have significantly decreased by 20 percent in the past five years.

However, incarceration has, according to a report from the Florida Policy Project. Basically, the same people are being thrown into the whirlwind of recidivism.

Former state Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) is the founder of Florida Policy Project. He stated that the report has the purpose of assisting lawmakers in how to improve the criminal justice system with better, sustainable practices.

According to WLRN, “The group's research found 90% of the 82,000 inmates in Florida's prisons will eventually return to communities.”

"(The recommendations) would ultimately increase public safety, reduce costs, and allow us to spend more money on the issues that truly reduce recidivism and improve outcomes for everybody," Brandes said.

In the project's most recent research, it was discovered that over 60 percent of formerly incarcerated individuals will end up back in prison within three years of their release.

Though, alternatives in preventing that to occur can include transitional services and mental health treatment.

According to WLRN, “Physical and mental healthcare for all inmates is constitutionally required. But Brandes said the state's ability to provide adequate mental health care is lacking.”

"The standards need to be adhered to," Brandes he said. "But even before we raise them, we should meet them. The existing standards, and across the board, we're really not meeting our standards."

Visitations for people in prison are crucial in their re-entry to the outside and in the prevention of becoming re-convicted. There is a 13 percent decrease for those that receive frequent visits, and a 25 percent rate of less likely being arrested, the report states.  

Recommendations from the Florida Policy Project include more funding to be given to the Florida Department of Corrections in hiring more state and making the visitation process much easier for those that want to see their loved ones on the inside.

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