Florida requires that inmates serve at least 85% of their sentences, and the state has abolished parole. That’s resulted in a massive prison population — about 95,000 inmates. Taxpayers now fork over $2.7 billion per year for the Department of Corrections budget — and that’s after expenses have been trimmed. Education programs are almost nonexistent. Only 18 of 50 major facilities have air conditioning. There’s a chronic shortage of guards, whose starting trainee pay is $30,150. Healthcare costs are up to $375M, with an additional $120 million proposed for next year.
Does it do any good for society to keep criminals locked up for decades, mostly to languish? What would the alternative be?
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