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Florida Sheriffs Association Statement on Florida First Step Act—SB 642

April 16, 2019

Crime victims’ rights matter. When someone steals or injures a Florida resident, or one of our tourists, and a judge sentences that person to prison they should serve their sentence. The Florida Sheriffs Association opposes SB 642 because it allows someone to get out of prison early by only serving 65% of their sentence and this bill allows criminals to escape the jail time that a judge determined to be the punishment that fits the crime—truth in sentencing is important.  Allowing criminals to serve only a fraction of their sentence sends the clear message that criminals are more important than victims and that victims’ rights do not matter. A major reason we enjoy a low crime rate today is because criminals are serving the time deserved and not getting a ‘get out of jail free’ card. The men and women in law enforcement across the state work hard to get criminals off our streets and protect citizens, and the criminals need to serve their time!

— Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter, FSA President

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Florida Sheriffs Association:
The Florida Sheriffs Association is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation made up of the Sheriffs of Florida, approximately 3,500 business leaders and 70,000 citizens throughout the state. Founded in 1893, FSA has steadfastly served the citizens of Florida by supporting the needs of the state's law enforcement community. Through the Florida Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs are given a forum to address lawmakers to push for positive changes in Florida’s public safety arena. FSA also provides Sheriffs' Offices much-needed programs such as affordable training, special task forces and legislative and legal services. Dedicated to the prevention of juvenile delinquency and the development of lawful, productive citizens, FSA has established and funded the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches with facilities throughout the state to help restore hope, fulfill dreams, and prepare boys and girls for the future. It has grown to be one of the largest and most successful state law enforcement associations in the nation.