April 2, 2018

Florida's new criminal justice data effort a prelude to sentencing, corrections reform [Florida Watchdog]

This post was last updated on September 10, 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.

John Haughey of Watchdog writes:

“Beginning July 1, Florida will become the first state to require counties to collect extensive criminal justice data and make it available in a publicly accessible database.

The data-sharing requirement is ‘the first step’ in gathering evidence to support the creation of a task force to identify ways to reform the state’s $2.4 billion courts and correctional industrial complex, Florida Policy Institute Executive Director Joseph Pennisi said [emphasis added].

‘The next step is a task force,’ he said, ‘and to legislate laws to enforce judicial reform.’

Pennisi said Florida’s new data collection law will provide accurate, measurable information necessary for a state task force to examine how criminal justice programs could be more effective, efficient and responsive if information was standardized and shared.

‘To get good policy, you need good data,’ he said.”


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