Outdated Parole System

When one thinks about the system that is best equipped in releasing an offender back into society, one would be hard-pressed to find a better one than an effective parole system. An effective parole system gives the best chance to gauge if the offender is ready or not to be released.

When one thinks about the system that is best equipped in releasing an offender back into society, one would be hard-pressed to find a better one than an effective parole system. An effective parole system gives the best chance to gauge if the offender is ready or not to be released. Unfortunately, it has been close to 40 years since Florida has had such a system, and even then it was not an effective system.

Thousands of offenders are still on parole from those years long ago and the parole board continues to put them off regardless of how much they have proven to be reformed. It is a well-established fact that this group of offenders is the lowest-rated recidivism group within the FDC, yet this group is the last to be released and given a second chance. The lack of accountability to parole these offenders is pure "job security" at its finest as to release these offenders would mean the parolees would eventually lose their job.

To further punctuate the present parole committee's inability to serve as an effective board, no politician (and make no mistake the members who oversee the parole board are politicians) will seldom ever sign their name to a person who is a violent offender. They will not hinge their political career (however great or small it remains) on an offender that society has long since left for dead. So the question begs to be asked, "Why are they the ones overseeing such responsibilities?"

What should those who are incarcerated do when they have to depend on a system that gives false hope year after year? Should not such a system be deemed cruel and unusual...being strung along decade after decade under the false hope that maybe one day you'll finally be set free? How would you like to have a perpetual carrot on a stick teasing you every day of your life? If you have consistently shown that you are a changed person, then you should be given a chance to redeem yourself.

But how does any of this affect society? Why should society care one way or another about these criminals? About these people who did not care about society itself? This is surely a significant question that must be answered and the simplest response would be to point to the unnecessary spending that housing this aging group cost the taxpayers of Florida.

In reality, the cost to incarcerate these individuals for 2 or 3 more decades before they waste away and die is too great to ignore. An expense that ranges anywhere between$800,000,000 at the minimum cost of $20,000 per inmate every 10 years - $2,200,000,000at the maximum cost of $55,000 per inmate every 10 years... equating to a minimum of $2,400,000,000 and a maximum of $6,600,000,000 for 3 more decades. And this is only fora minute percentage of the close to a hundred thousand inmates that are housed in theFDC every year... 4 percent to be almost exact.

Something is extremely wrong with the citizens of this state having to possibly pay 6.5billion dollars for the housing of only 4 percent of the inmate population... 4 percent... 6.5billion dollars... for the group of offenders with the lowest recidivism rate among all offenders!! Something seriously deranged in such legislation! And to think, this isn't even the greatest cost as the attaching residual effect winds up costing our communities far more!

The cost that such senseless spending creates in the sociological arena far outweighs the cost in the penological arena. Monies that could have been spent on lifting poorer districts out of the desolate condition they find themselves... Monies spent on better training the police force in our state... Monies spent on better education for the less educated... Monies are spent on programs that are geared to rid our communities of drugs, violence, and gangs... Monies spent on better assisting the elderly... Monies spent on any number of sociological betterment possibilities are instead spent on keeping the safest group of proven offenders from re-entering society.

A group that if given the chance to redeem themselves from past wrongs would seize the opportunity like no other group. These are human beings who for many different reasons made bad choices long ago and who have fought through the toughest, coldest, and darkest environments our society has to offer to come out the other side. These are the individuals that can impact the up-and-coming lost generation that is socially following in their criminal footsteps... on their way to creating more victims and billions of more dollars in what could have been preventative spending.

What would $1,000,000 do for the community that you live in? How about $10,000,000... or even $100,000,000?! It is extremely cruel and unusual when 66 different communities could each receive $100,000,000 toward betterment possibilities... just to keep 4 percent of the most proven rehabilitated offenders incarcerated until they waste away and die? Something is fundamentally unsound about such rationale.

Society-First seeks to bring awareness to those in society about the facts of what mass incarceration is doing to our communities. The residual effect is too great to continue ignoring as the actual threat to our communities far outweigh any feared threat these individuals may cost us. The sad fact is no matter how reformed or prepared one may think they are, life happens... a man could lose a child... a job... a house... a friend... but with each sad possibility comes responsibility for a community... a responsibility to be there for one's neighbor.

More Problems

9

Education

It is true, that in today's prisons, we find individuals who come from all walks of life. However, there is a large demographic of young men who have the bare minimum of education. This group of men is under 25 and makes up the growing present prison population.

2

Culture

In today's prison system, there is an epidemic that has amassed a very destructive force, and one would be sadly mistaken to shrug it off as being inconsequential to the world outside of prison. We must not turn a blind eye to the fact that the realities in prison will one day become realities outside of prison.

2

Drugs

In general, the effects of drugs are at the center of almost every sad story, but in the world of prison, they can give a defining end to those stories. Being incarcerated presents the perfect isolation to impact those in society who for many diverse reasons have turned to the numbing effects of drugs and alcohol.