Listen: Former Florida Republican Senate President on Criminal Justice Reform
Right on Crime Signatory and former Florida Senate President, Mike Haridopolos, went on air with WJCT to discuss the major shift in voter support for criminal justice reform. Citing a poll commissioned by Right on Crime, Haridopolos highlighted that the majority of Florida voters believe the goal of the criminal justice system should be about rehabilitation – not just punishment. Haridopolos, who used to fit the stereotypical mold of being a ‘tough on crime’ Republican, supports Right on Crime principles. Specifically in reference to first time, low level offenders, Haridopolos says, “We need to figure out a better system so that when they do come out [and] back on our streets, they’re not an additional threat.” He points to rehabilitative programs that help prepare offenders to safely and productively reenter society. This is important not just for overall public safety but also for families of offenders.
Haridopolos says that harsh sentencing should focus on violent offenders “who have preyed on others” rather than low level offenders. He urges lawmakers to “look outside the box” when punishing people for smaller crimes so that those who can be rehabilitated are given that opportunity.
Listen to the full interview here.