More than 1 million people in Florida are without civil rights due to past criminal charges because we make the process of regaining rights extremely lengthy & difficult. Ex-felon offenders have to apply for their civil rights to be reinstated.
“Led by Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi, officials scrapped a streamlined clemency process begun by former Gov. Charlie Crist that they felt was too easy for ex-offenders. The new system, in effect since March, requires felons to be crime-free for at least five years before their clemency petitions can be considered.” Tampa Bay Times, 8/7/2011.
Once again, we talk about rehabilitation, but then we set up roadblocks which make it exceedingly difficult to re-enter society as a fully functioning adult. Yet, research shows that reintegrating people back into mainstream society decreases the risk of repeat offenses. And that leads to safer neighborhoods.