Florida Discuss Florida - Budget Cuts Could Mean Early Probation Release For Hundreds in the United States forums; ORLANDO, Fla. -- People on probation are going scot free. Some say it could put public safety at risk. Because ...
Florida - Budget Cuts Could Mean Early Probation Release For Hundreds
ORLANDO, Fla. -- People on probation are going scot free. Some say it could put public safety at risk. Because of budget cuts, some of the 32,000 criminals on probation in Central Florida could walk free.
If an offender served half of their sentence without violating and a judge agrees, they could be released early and not everyone's happy about it.
Channel 9 has learned state probation officers have been ordered to search through their case files and find offenders who can be released from probation early
"When you start talking about releasing people, what about the safety of our citizens and public safety?" questioned State Representative Sandy Adams, who lives in Orlando and is a former sheriff's deputy. "I would think a lot of things would come into play before you start early release."
Florida Department of Corrections has a $2.5 billion budget. Lawmakers cut $70 million last year and Central Florida lost 19 probation officers. With more budget cuts around the corner, the agency is trying to reduce its case load
"If some people are eligible for early term, it allows probation officers to focus on higher risk offenders," explained Gretl Plessinger, Department of Corrections.
There are more than 32,000 offenders on probation in Central Florida, enough to fill half of the Citrus Bowl. So the question is, can judges review all of the cases or will they simply get rubber-stamped?
"It won't automatically happen. It will not be rubber-stamped," said Chief Judge Clayton Simmons.
Simmons is the chief judge for Seminole and Brevard counties and says only non-violent offenders will be considered for early release.
The Department of Corrections said the victim has the final say. If they don't approve, the offender stays on probation. Simmons said that's not true.
"We would consider the victim's input, but final decision is up to the judge," he said.
Lawmakers told Channel 9 the latest cuts will not impact staffing.
As for how many criminals could get off, Eyewitness News was told it will number in the hundreds.
Probation is given to convicted offenders when they're ready to be released back into the community, but it requires supervision by an officer. They have to make contact at least once a month and the probation officers also conduct random home checks.
Budget Cuts Could Mean Early Probation Release For Hundreds - News Story - WFTV Orlando
By jma2003 in forum General Prison Talk
Last Post: 09-25-2009, 01:13 AM
By Skye in forum Prison World News
Last Post: 09-05-2007, 05:07 PM
By belacorreia in forum General Prison Talk
Last Post: 01-24-2006, 12:37 PM
By goldblend in forum General Prison Talk
Last Post: 08-20-2005, 07:33 PM
By poppypopalot in forum General Prison Talk
Last Post: 07-08-2003, 03:00 PM