Saturday, August 13, 2011

Florida: Waiting and Waiting and Waiting

The Miami Herald is reporting on almost 90,000 people "waiting to have their civil rights restored by Gov. Rick Scott and three statewide elected Cabinet members." Under new rules adopted in March, ex-felons must be "crime-free" for at least five years before their clemency petitions can be considered. In the case of certain classes of violent felons, the wait is seven years.

Interestingly, a new report by the Florida Parole Commission shows "that a released felon in Florida whose civil rights are restored is much less likely to commit a new crime than others in the overall prison population." More specifically, the study of 31,000 from 2009-10 and found that "about 11 percent of people whose civil rights were restored ended up back in custody" (as opposed to a "re-offense rate" of 33 percent overall). Put another way, "89 percent of convicted felons granted a second chance have not re-offended." See full story here.

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