REFORM and the Florida Safety Coalition Celebrates Signing of Bill by Governor DeSantis that Reforms & Enhances Florida’s Probation System
Remote Reporting, Education Credits & Workforce Credits will Increase Effectiveness & Efficiency of Probation, Improve Lives, & Strengthen Public Safety
Tallahassee, Fla. – A diverse group of organizations today celebrated the signing of Senate Bill 752, Probationary or Supervision Services for Misdemeanor Offenders, by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The legislation was unanimously passed by both the House and Senate and will go into effect July 1st. It includes key provisions that improve Florida’s probation system, increase success rates for people on supervision, and ultimately strengthen public safety.
SB 752 includes three key provisions:
- Remote Reporting: Establishes a permanent, statewide remote reporting system, giving probation officers and people on probation greater flexibility to connect in a manner that supports rehabilitative goals and successful reentry, while maintaining accountability and protecting community safety. The change comes after many supervision departments implemented this method of reporting during the pandemic with much success.
- Education Credits: Creates an evidence-based credit system designed to encourage positive behavior and personal growth by providing for a 60-day reduction in the length of probation terms for individuals who complete a qualifying educational activity such as earning an associate or bachelor’s degree. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 people entering probation within the next five years would be incentivized to earn at least one education credit.
- Workforce Enhancement Credit: Institutes an additional credit system to incentivize full-time employment, which is a key factor in successfully reducing recidivism and increasing public safety. The new Workforce Enhancement Credit creates opportunities to reduce one’s length of probation terms by 30 days for each six-month period of maintaining employment at an average of 30 hours per week.
By motivating people to maintain employment and pursue education, while also supporting their rehabilitative goals, these reforms will improve overall success rates among people on probation, reduce the likelihood that individuals return to criminal activity, and strengthen communities.
In addition to thanking Governor DeSantis, the coalition also collectively recognized Senator Keith Perry (R-Gainesville) and Representative Traci Koster (R-Tampa), who championed these reforms through the legislature, where they received unanimous support in both the House and Senate. We also thank Senator George Gainer (R-Panama City), Senator Jason Pizzo (D-Miami), and Representative Patt Maney (R-Fort Walton Beach) for their support of these probation reforms.
“This is a big win for public safety in Florida,” said Jessica Jackson, Chief Advocacy Officer & Chief Operations Officer of REFORM Alliance, which is a member of the Florida Safety Coalition. “REFORM Alliance thanks Governor DeSantis, our champions Rep. Koster and Senator Perry, and the entire Florida legislature for their leadership. The unanimous support of both the Florida House and Senate demonstrate just how urgent these changes are; encouraging redemption, education, and employment for people all across the state. We stand ready to help implement this new law as quickly as possible in order to bring positive benefits to Florida families and communities.”
“This new law will help more than 150,000 people on probation in Florida by removing barriers to their success and rewarding them for doing well,” said Michael Rubin, Philadelphia 76ers partner, Fanatics CEO and Co-chair of REFORM Alliance. “Not only was this unanimously supported by members of the Florida legislature, but probation officers, business owners, and community service providers all joined us in the effort to pass this new law. This is going to safely reduce the number of people on supervision, improve lives and increase community stability across the state.”
“The Florida Police Benevolent Association thanks Governor Ron DeSantis for signing the public safety measures comprising SB 752 into law,” said Matt Puckett, Policy and Legislative Director for the Florida Police Benevolent Association. “Under the new law, a person sentenced to probation can receive reductions to the length of his, or her supervision by earning educational certifications, along with reduction credits for securing employment. To ensure safe and proper implementation, these credits will be granted by the individual’s assigned Probation Officer. Probation Officers were proud to support this much needed reform which will gradually, safely, and sensibly decrease Florida’s supervised offender population. We thank the sponsors, Representative Traci Koster and Senator George Gainer, the legislative leadership, and a coalition of reform advocates for shepherding this smart proposal through the process.”
“SB752 will help Florida’s criminal justice system hold individuals accountable while still offering an achievable path to rehabilitation and redemption. Education and employment credits for people on probation are some of the most effective ways to incentivize the hard work of self-improvement. This not only reduces crime, but simultaneously expands our workforce and strengthens communities. We applaud Governor Desantis for signing this legislation into law and thank members of the legislature who championed these improvements” said David Safavian, General Counsel, American Conservative Union, which is a member of the Florida Safety Coalition.
“These changes would strengthen public safety and improve the lives of real people in our communities,” said Neil Volz, Deputy Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which is a member of the Florida Safety Coalition. “FRRC is a statewide, membership-based organization made up of people with past convictions, our families and those impacted by the criminal justice system. We appreciate Governor DeSantis, Rep. Koster, Sen. Perry and members of the legislature for taking this important step to improve outcomes in our probation system. When we give people on probation the opportunity and incentive to pursue education and work, we can safely shorten the amount of time people serve on probation. These changes will reduce recidivism, promote strong families, strengthen local economies, and save taxpayer dollars.”
“At Operation New Hope, we believe that we are all better than our worst mistake, worst day, or worst decision. We believe in people’s ability to transform their lives through commitment and hard work. We see it every day as we support our clients’ reentry and growth. We applaud the probation reform efforts of SB 752 and know that it will have a positive impact on those we serve as they reconnect to the workforce, their families, and the community,” said Reggie Fullwood, President of Operation New Hope.
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The Florida Safety Coalition is a citizen-led organization of individuals and groups working to prevent future crime, save taxpayer dollars, and provide all Floridians with more opportunities for success by improving our probation system. Partners include the REFORM Alliance, Faith & Freedom Coalition, American Conservative Union, Alliance for Safety and Justice, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Americans for Prosperity Florida, Florida Policy Institute and Operation New Hope. For more information, visit flsafetycoalition.com.
REFORM Alliance is committed to transforming probation and parole throughout the United States by changing laws, systems, and culture. The organization is working to replace America’s criminal justice system with a restorative approach that is fair, accountable and invested in rehabilitation. Our goal is for people to reenter society with dignity, create meaningful pathways to work and equip them with the tools to succeed all while making families and communities safer and stronger.
The nonprofit organization was founded in the wake of the #FreeMeek movement by award-winning recording artist Meek Mill; Philadelphia 76ers partner and Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin; Arnold Ventures co-founder Laura Arnold; entrepreneur and business mogul Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter; Kraft Group CEO and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft; Galaxy Digital CEO and founder Michael E. Novogratz; Vista Equity Partners founder, chairman, CEO Robert F. Smith; Brooklyn Nets co-owner and philanthropic investor Clara Wu Tsai; and CNN host and activist Van Jones. Veteran criminal justice advocate Robert Rooks leads the organization as CEO, and, most recently in October 2021, philanthropist, pediatrician, and criminal justice reform advocate Dr. Priscilla Chan joined the organization’s Board of Directors. Visit ReformAlliance.com
Media Contact: Alex Gudich, [email protected]