Prison time can have lasting ramifications for a person. Also, it takes a lot of tax dollars to properly fund the prison system. So, how big the prison population is in the state is a very impactful thing. Last year, Florida had a prison population of over 96,000.
Now, recent times have seen drops in both overall reported crimes and arrests in the state. Given this, one might think that significant declines in prison population were in Florida’s future. However, forecasts by economists suggest that the total number of prisoners in the state is not likely to move much in the next several years. According to these forecasts, the state’s prison population is expected to stay in the 96,000 to 97,000 range through 2024.
Why is the prison population expected to stay fairly level? One reason has to do with imprisonment for drug crimes. In recent times, new drug crime imprisonments have been increasing in the state and drug crimes have come to be the most common conviction for new prisoners. A high prevalence of drug crime convictions can have major impact on prison population size in the state, given the harsh sentencing policies connected to drug offenses, such as mandatory minimums.
One thing some are pointing to as necessary to help bring down the state’s prison population is sentencing reform. One wonders what the future will see when it comes to drug sentencing policies in the state. What would you like to see in the state when it comes to sentencing reform?
The potential for heavy prison sentences is among the reasons why drug crime allegations are such a serious thing for Floridians to face. When facing such serious charges, what legal guidance one has when it comes to one’s defense matters considerably.