Decreased Need for Bedspace Dashes Hopes of Repealing 85% STOP Act

Posted: August 4, 2013 in News and politics

For those Florida prisoners (and their families & friends) who simply refuse to give up hope on the miracle belief that state leaders are again contemplating the repeal of the 1995 Stop Turning Out Prisoners Act, ch. 95-294, in order to allow non-violent offenders to once again earn more incentive gain time than that presently allowed under the Act’s 85% requirement, those hopes have been dashed by reality. While conducting the research footwork last week regarding the accomplishments of the legislative committees and subcommittees that are concerned with corrections and its related funding issues, verified that prisoners who still cling to the belief that a return to the days of pre-85% gain time availability are simply ignoring the reality of the day.

Speaking on the ground of anonymity, it was a consensus among the staffers of all three relevant legislative committees (or subcommittees) that while Legislatures had considered amending or even repealing the 1995 Act more than once, the facts that brought about that possibility no longer exist. In the last two years, the population of the prison system has effectively stopped its previous unchecked rate of growth and indeed, has even posted a decline for the first time since 1984. That stunted growth has led the DOC to shutter several older existing prisons, and even leave a couple brand-new facilities empty. In one way or another, the availability of gain time and the existence of the other early-release programs during the 1980′s and 1990′s was always tied to the “problem” of prison overcrowding. With the population of the prison system to end the fiscal year again with negative growth, those prisoner and their families who are praying for the availability of additional gain-time must look to something other than the overcrowding God, else they once again get stuck worshiping a false God.

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