Florida’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in 35 years, but violent crime is actually up in some areas, and that’s a big problem.
Florida’s crime rate has dropped again by nearly four percent in 2005 over the previous year. That breaks down to 12,400 fewer hard core crimes like murder, rape and robbery. Jeb bush was pleased to deliver the good news.
Gov. Jeb Bush said, "It is fantastic that we’ve seen a reduction in overall crime, a reduction in crime rates."
The governor credits tougher sentencing laws like 10-20-Life for keeping the bad guys behind bars longer, but not all the news is good. The rate of violent crime is actually up in some cities, compared to other cities around the country.
Murder rates in Jacksonville and some central Florida counties increased. Attorney General Charlie Crist blames much of the problem on habitual offenders.
Charlie Crist said, "I think it’s fairly easy. I think what you need to do is straight forward. People who are out and are violating probation need to be locked up."
But Crist’s push to get tougher on repeat offenders has gotten bogged down in the Legislature for the last two years because of the price tag, and Jeb Bush says even though he’s on board with tough sentencing laws, cost is always a concern.
Jeb Bush said, "All of this has to be done in the context of making sure that we have the resources to build a big enough prison system. Florida’s prisons already house nearly 85,000 inmates.
Domestic violence remains a big problem in Florida. The number of domestic violence reports went up by a half-percent over last year.
One out of five murders in Florida is domestic violence-related. Spouses and live-ins continue to account for more than half the domestic violence crimes.