- Florida Governor
Florida Prisons-REDUCE 85% TIME SERVED TO 65%-BRING BACK PAROLE!!!!!!!
Florida is broke, and spends way too much on keeping inmates in prison waaaay longer than any other state, yet, crime rate HASNOT DROPPED!! Florida is the ONLY state without Parole and the ONLY state that forces inmates to do 85% of their sentence as opposed to other states that require inmates to do 65% of their sentence. The Governor talks about building private prisons, who pays for those? In the end, we, the tax payers pay for those while government gets a break!!! There was a proposal to release non-violent offenders, that was shot down, why?? The tax payers are paying to keep these inmates in there. Most of these inmates need drug counseling, or job training, there is none in prison!! I know this because my son is in prison, and I had to fight for him to get a diploma in there and now, no job training available, no classes, nothing to give him any skills for when he does come home. He had a drug problem, was no angel, but didn't deserve the harsh sentence that he received. There are more drugs available in prison than on the streets!!!! Putting him in prison isn't helping anyone. There should be more alternatives to prison. Spending money on facilities that help with drug issues and job trainging would be beneficial to everyone. My son is in prison because of Florida's sentencing guidlines, they don't look at each case individualy. Our Judicial system is a mess!!! There were sooooo many mistakes made in my son's case, if Parole where in place, he would be home already!! If anyone had told me how screwed up our Judicial system is, I wouldn't have believed them, it took first hand dealings with our court system to see what a mess it is!!!!! My son can't be the only one who shouldn't even be in prison, without a Parole board, to go over sentencing and to make things right, Florida is in trouble. The court system took a puppy who was misbehaving, a 16 year old boy, and threw him in with a pack of wild dogs!!!! He is in prison with men who have 3 life sentences!!! Reducing mandatory time served and bringing back parole does not affect inmates with life sentences, it just helps inmates who shouldn't even be there and inmates who deserve a chance. Please go to Change.org and sign the Barber Ammendment petition, as well as this one.
- Florida Governor
My son is currently in prison, in Florida. Conditions are terrible, he doesn't even have a pillow!! He is 6'2", sleeps on a short, metal bed, with springs that come through the thin mat that has holes in it!! His blanket has 3 huge holes, on cold nights, he is freezing. The food they are given is not nutrional, and the portions have shrunk considerably!! I won't even get into how overcrowded the conditions are, I'm sure you are aware. I never thought I'd be involved with anything having to do with prisons, I come from a very nice family, my Dad is a retired Deputy Chief of Police, my brothers are police officers, my ex husband, my son's Dad, is a dis-abled police officer, hurt on the job, they are all up in Mass. My son was 16 when arrested, he had gotten into drugs, was going down the wrong road, but even the prosecutor said he felt my son got a raw deal, a sentence he hadn't even asked for. The week that my son was sentenced, Judge Rapkin was under fire for being a 'marshmallow judge'. A little girl, Carly Brucia had been murdered by a man who was on probation, people were blaming Judge Rapkin. The day my son was sentenced there were 'court watchers' and reporters in the back of the room. He threw the book at my son, even though I pointed out that the paperwork in front of him was filled with errors, he based his sentence on those reports, one siting that my son had been charged with assault and battery, he never had been, had never been arrested for anything even close to assault, had never even been in a fight!! He also stated that my son had failed 2 juvenile facilities, he had not, he had graduated from one, had a letter from the juvenile judge, commending him, and the second facility, he had been placed in because of the current charges and was taken out of to go to court!! He didn't fail it, he was taken from there to be placed in jail so he could be in court!!!! My son's lawyer had talked him into pleading 'no contest', against my wishes, but he was being tried as an adult, so no one would listen to me. The judge said, 'well, you pleaded guilty', I said 'no he didn't, he pleaded no contest' and the judge said it was the same thing, What a nightmare, the lawyer had said he wold get 18 months as a juvenile, he got 12 years as an adult!!!! If parole where in place and his case reviewed, he'd be home!!!! If he had to complete 65% of his sentence, he'd be home very soon. PLEASE make these changes to the prison system. My son and many others, don't belong in there!! I wouldn't have believed it myself, if I hadn't gone through what we've been through, my son was not guilty of his charges, he plead no contest because the lawyer told him to!!! I always believed that people in prison had to be guilty, they had gone through the court process, so, they had to belong there. How untrue!!!! Mistakes are made that affect the lives of innocent people and then there is no recourse, no way to undo them. Every appeals lawyer I spoke with said they'd have my Michael home in no time, they said they couldn't believe his sentenc, and then every one of them said the same thing, it's a crying shame, but I can't get this boy home, what was done is outrageous, but it's all legal!! So, 71/2 years later, my boy is still in there. On his 24th birthday he called me, we spoke for only a few minutes when I heard horrible screaming and yelling and banging and my son was screaming "they're stabbing my friend Mom, they're stabbing my friend". The phone way yanked away from him, I called the prison, wanting to know if he was ok, I didn't know if a riot had erupted or what, they would give me no information!! 3 days later and 3 sleepless nights, my son called me, he said that was the 5th stabbing in as many months. Who is going to keep my child safe in there? Who is going to make sure that the 16 year old they threw away to the wolves is going to come home alive?????? He's done over 7 years, for something he didn't even do, I'm not saying that he was an angel, he shouldn't have been there, he shouldn't have had a juvenile record, he was on the wrong road, but, he didn't deserve a 12 year sentence, he was innocent of the charges against him. We need a parole board, we need to reduce the time spent in prison for inmates who had a drug problem. He never hurt anyone, had never been in a fight until he went to prison. He has had to become tougher in order to survive in there. I want him back while he's still him, before being in prison changes every good thing there is about him, he has a good heart, I want him home before he is completely broken and there is nothing left of the boy who went in over 7 years ago. Thank you for reading all of this, it is within your power to make change, and make change for the better of all. Robin A DeStasio
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