New Program to Help Released Inmates Start Over

The Orlando Sentinel recently reported on the difficulty of inmates who have a hard time starting their life on the outside once released from prison. The article stated that the thousands of inmates released from prison each year are given a bus ticket and $40 upon their release. For many, this makes it difficult to complete even basic life tasks, especially when they often also lack driver’s licenses or identification cards.

Plan for Released Prisoners to Obtain ID

This has become such a recognized problem, in fact, that an organized coalition and Florida lawmakers are working to address it. Their plan includes implementing a program that provides prisoners an identification card, or the necessary paperwork to get one, when they complete their sentence in prison and are released into the public.

Florida Smart Justice Alliance

The issue was addressed by the coalition and lawmakers at the Florida Smart Justice Alliance’s annual summit. The Alliance’s purpose is to evaluate, as well as make needed modifications, to Florida’s criminal justice system and the state’s corrections systems. The summit, happening currently in the state of Florida, gives key players an opportunity to get together to discuss problems with the criminal justice system and come up with possible solutions to address them.

Those involved can include lawmakers, law enforcement, court representatives, and non-profit agencies, among others. Topics addressed cover a broad range of issues, from drug abuse to smart justice initiatives.

Issues with the Criminal Justice System in Florida

One issue that was brought up by Attorney General Pan Bondi at the summit was the need for more drug treatment programs in Florida’s prisons, as well as safe houses offering treatment, especially for women and juveniles who have been victims of human trafficking. Additionally, Attorney General Bondi said that law enforcement needs to continue focusing on relatively new synthetic illegal drugs, such as Spice and K-2.

Other topics expected to be covered during the summit include alternatives to incarceration for those defendants suffering from mental illnesses, and getting drug addicted defendants the proper treatment to avoid repeat offending. Ultimately, as the article stated, it comes down to taking measures aimed at keeping the community safe.

While seminars such as this hopefully serve to address underlying issues of criminal defendants, and benefit the community as a whole, having a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney who is aware of alternatives and options for their clients can be invaluable. Experienced defense attorneys will likely be familiar with programs and assistance their clients can take advantage of, to not only potentially get a better result with their case in court, but also to give them the best opportunity to succeed upon their release from prison, if they are incarcerated as a part of their sentence.

Choosing the right criminal defense attorney is important. If you or someone you know was charged with a crime in Florida, an experienced criminal law attorney can discuss your case with you and advise you of your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.