Fla. Lawmakers Consider Bill to Extend Parole

Florida lawmakers are pushing legislation designed to keep certain criminals behind bars for longer periods of time.

Right now, convicted felons have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before being eligible for parole.

Those convicted of crimes other than murder or sexual battery are granted parole interviews every two years.

Under a new bill, inmates convicted of kidnapping, robbery or aggressive burglary would only be up for parole every seven years.

But critics say it would be in Florida's best financial interest to release more inmates into community treatment and job training programs.

"It benefits the taxpayers through savings," said Rob Weissert with Florida TaxWatch. "It benefits the incarcerated individuals through re-integrating them into society successfully. It benefits all of society by really reducing crime."

Florida spends nearly $20,000 a year on housing each of its inmates. Reform advocates say taxpayers could save hundreds-of-millions of dollars a year by giving more inmates parole.

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  • by Anonymous on Oct 27, 2011 at 11:16 AM
    It would be in Florida's best interest to release inmates into job training programs. That would be great, if there was any jobs to be had. Jobs that are out here are all got, except what the illegals gave up, and who wants to work for 2 dollars a hour.
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