The Republican-leaning Washington Economics Group of Coral Gables says Florida loses millions by spending on extra court and prison costs while losing the opportunity to create new jobs for new offenders.
By Mary Ellen Klas
Seven years after Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet voted to end the state policy that automatically restored the civil rights of nonviolent offenders after they complete their sentences, a price tag has emerged.
Florida lost an estimated $385 million a year in economic impact, spent millions on court and prison costs, had 3,500 more offenders return to prison, and lost the opportunity to create about 3,800 new jobs.
Those are just some of the conclusions of a new economic research report prepared by the Republican-leaning Washington Economics Group of Coral Gables for proponents of Amendment 4, the proposal on the November ballot that asks voters to allow the automatic restoration of civil rights for eligible felons who have served their sentences.
The report was commissioned by the Alliance for Safety and Justice, a national criminal justice reform organization that works with crime survivors, to show the economic impact of approving the amendment.
But the findings show more than the economic impact of what could happen if voters approve it. They also estimate the cost of the policy that was fast-tracked into law by the governor and Cabinet a month after taking office in 2011 led to crime and cost taxpayers.
“I believe if you are convicted of a felony, there should be an appropriate waiting time before you have your rights restored, and I firmly believe that someone should have to ask,” Bondi said at the time.
WHY?! What is your justification for such a belief? It is not explained in the article.
And why the Commissioner of Agriculture on the panel? Really?
If you done your time/penalty for your crime, then restore. Don’t use what about the victim reasoning. It does not hold water.
VA and FLA should get together for a picnic since they are on the same train of thought.
Hmm, and I thought Rick Scott who was a company/corp business man before going into politics was about saving money. He has closed down agencies and prisons in FL to save cost. $345 million – and then some – a year wasted on this bullshit nonsense.