Florida Probation System Under Fire

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

With news of the kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Carlie Brucia earlier this year by a repeat probation violator, Florida's Department of Corrections has come under fire.

Bob Sparks with the Florida Attorney General's Office says a new proposal is in the works.

Bob Sparks says, "That judges be given the authority to immediately place violent offenders who violate their probation back in jail until a hearing can be held, then to determine their threat to society."

The probation program is overseen by the Florida Department of Corrections. A department spokesperson says following the kidnapping and death of Carlie Brucia, along with the mass murders this year in Volusia County at the hands of another probation violator, swift changes were in order.

Sterling Ivey, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Corrections, says, "We've instituted a zero tolerance policy that wasn't in affect when these previous cases or when the Carlie Brucia case occurred, so anyone who's on probation, violates their probation, we want our officers to notify the courts that they violated the terms of their probation."

But what exactly were the problems before?

Bob adds, "Crowded dockets, I guess is one of them, and things needed to be brought to the attention of the judge as quickly as possible. To reincarcerate parole violators, those of a violent nature, there would be some additional costs that would be incurred, there's no question about that."

Whether an issue of money or jail space, the attorney general says it's important err on the side of caution.


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