The conservative approach to criminal justice:
fighting crime, supporting victims, and protecting taxpayers.

Florida May Reduce Mandatory Minimums for Low Level Drug Offenses

| November 7, 2017

Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) filed legislation to create a judicial safety valve for low level drug crimes. We applaud their proposed reforms to Florida’s mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws. With the State of Florida housing nearly 100,000 inmates and costing taxpayers nearly $2.4 billion every year, the legislature must address the problematic prison population, and one way to do that is reforming mandatory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenses. These minimum sentences are often unnecessarily severe, even for those with no prior criminal record.

A judicial safety valve would allow courts to divert offenders with substance abuse issues into drug treatment, which we know is more effective and less expensive than prison. Providing discretion to the courts does not dissolve mandatory minimums, it just merely allows flexibility in very specific circumstances.

We congratulate Senator Brandes and Representative Diamond for filing conservative, thoughtful reform that keeps public safety at the utmost importance!

You can view the newly filed legislation by clicking on the bill numbers: SB 694 and HB 481


CHELSEA MURPHY  has been immersed in Florida politics for the past decade, and advocated on behalf of various clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, trade associations, non-profits, to local governments. More specifically to justice reform she represented the largest and oldest private provider for re-entry programming in the state of Florida. She helped start two smart justice coalitions, and she’s represented a variety of mental and behavioral health stakeholders.

Chelsea is based in Tallahassee where she lives with her husband and two children.