Florida’s parole system has not existed in its entirety since 1983. Currently, those convicted of crimes after 1983 have little to no supervision upon release, unless court ordered.

As advocates in Florida and other states seek real parole reform, it is the intent of this paper to offer differing perspectives from similar states in size, politics, and perspective on the criminal justice system. Reinstating parole is comprehensive, but with such a substantial change to Florida’s current system, it should be approached gradually and incrementally.

Key points

  • Florida is 1 of 16 states without a parole system.
  • Florida’s gaintime structure puts Florida in the minority of states that requires non-violent offenders to serve the same percentage of time as violent offenders.
  • Parole provides an incentive for individuals to rehabilitate, potentially reducing future crimes.
  • Reinstating parole should be approached gradually and incrementally, perhaps starting with only minor offenses. Another option is to create specific 85% crimes, which are not eligible for parole, and 60% time served eligibility for non-violent crimes.

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