By
FPI Staff
|
August 6, 2020

Florida Budget (FY 2020-21): Public Safety and Corrections

This post was last updated on July 22, 2021. As new policies are announced, FPI will update this page.

As Florida’s response to COVID-19 takes front and center, concern grows for low-income families who struggle to take precautions against the spread of the virus. Although Congress has passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to address, at least in part,  the public health crisis and economic fallout from COVID-19, many barriers continue to keep struggling families from accessing the assistance they need during the pandemic. As Florida initiates policies implementing the Act and addressing other barriers to the safety net, FPI will update this form. When available, hyperlinks are provided to agency documents or statements that provide greater detail  about the new policy.
On March 22, 2020, FPI and 44 other organizations sent a letter to Governor DeSantis, leadership in the Legislature and agency heads to urge action on 47 specific policy changes to reduce unnecessary barriers for Florida’s safety net programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the letter here.

Image: "John E. Goode Pretrial Detention Center, Jacksonville, FL" by Jon Worth is licensed under cc-by-sa-2.0.

Current Landscape

Florida's Department of Corrections (DOC) is the third largest state prison system in the country. In fact, Florida’s incarceration rate is higher than all of the 13 founding NATO countries: USA, Canada, and the 11 European countries. Since 1996, the number of people serving 10 or more years has tripled. As a result,the state has not been able to properly respond to the costs and needs associated with its incarcerated population. Inmates’ health costs have significantly increased, which caused the department to experience a major budget deficit in FY 2018-19.

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