October 2, 2019

Inmates pay high price for Florida’s slow pace toward criminal justice reform [Sun Sentinel]

This post was last updated on December 8, 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.

As Florida slows down on criminal justice reform efforts that would help reduce the overall inmate population, the physical and mental well-being of inmates, along with their rehabilitation, are once again in peril.

This time, the Florida Department of Corrections is appealing to a federal court to be allowed to stop treatment for inmates with early-stage Hepatitis C. State corrections officials argue that the Eighth Amendment, which forbids cruel and unusual punishment, does not require the agency to provide high-cost treatment for inmates who have early-stage Hep C.

This latest move came almost three years after a Florida judge found that DOC had been “deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs” of inmates and mandated that treatment be provided.

Read more on sunsentinel.com

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