Say NO to Florida Senate Bills 484, 1392 & 1490!
These Bills together would virtually eliminate accountability in criminal cases and simultaneously let hardened criminals out of jail on nothing more than a “promise” to appear. These Bills also eliminate judicial discretion in determining pretrial release by creating a system of “catch and release.”
This proposed bill mandates that counties and judicial circuits create pre-arrest diversion programs, shifting the cost for managing offenders to the government. The theory behind this bill is that a risk assessment can be used to determine if someone should be jailed or not, and begin the mandatory use of monitors at approximately $150 a month to keep offenders in check. Bail agents who are the true accountability partners in the criminal justice system would be all but eliminated and law enforcement will be faced with being the judge and the jury at the time of incident. In fact, the bill says that if an offender doesn’t complete whatever program entered, the law enforcement officer has to go back and arrest the offender which could be months later! This bill has no provision for victim input or worse, doesn’t limit who can participate so an offender who has had brushes with the law in the past can receive a citiation and be a part of the pre-arrest diversion program.
SB 1392 is built on a pilot program currently being used in Pinellas County by Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. This program, called APAD, was designed for use with non-violent misdemeanors on nothing more than a promise to appear – with no judicial oversight. Of 103 cases where civil citations were issued, 80 of those cases were battery and felony cases!
What can you do??? Tell your elected officials to Vote No on SB 1490 and SB 1218 – with just a few simple clicks…
Primary a Sentencing Bill, this Bill now includes amendments authored by Florida Senator Jeff Brandes requiring dangerous risk assessments to be required in determining pretrial release.
This bill presumes that individuals arrested for allegedly committing nonviolent misdemeanors are not a threat to society and should be released on non-monetary conditions or non-monetary restrictions; restricts the determinations a court must consider for bail or other conditions for persons committing crimes other than nonviolent misdemeanor offenses; authorizes a court to revoke pretrial release and order pretrial detention if the court finds probable cause to believe that the defendant committed a new violent crime or a new dangerous crime while on pretrial release, etc.
New Jersey enacted a similar law under the heading of bail reform in January 2017 and reports indicate so called “low-risk” heroin dealers, child sex offenders, gun criminals, and hardened gang members are being released. SB 1392 and 1490 will destroy criminal accountability in Florida, give repeat criminals a free pass, all while eliminating bail agents who are the true accountability partners in the criminal justice system at no cost to the taxpayers.
Criminal Justice Reform has been marketed around the country as a cure-all for our increasing crime problem, but in reality these reforms end up weakening accountability in the criminal justice system by fundamentally making it easier for repeat criminals to get out of jail.