Pubdate: Fri, 11 Apr 2008
Source: Star-Banner, The (Ocala, FL)
Copyright: 2008 The Star-Banner
Author: Lowell Workman


The present policy of the felony and misdemeanor courts is to
incarcerate probationers who are in violation of their probation when
they become delinquent in paying their monetary obligations or who
have a drug-related illness and test positive for using an
unauthorized or controlled substance.

After being incarcerated and serving only a fraction of their
sentence, these probationers are released to a halfway house, which
are supplemented by the state to supervise these inmates.

These halfway houses also charge these inmates up to 65 percent of the
inmate's total earned income for lodging and meals. The state also
authorizes a 15 percent tax incentive to employers who will hire these

Now, the new concept in the process would be to send Florida inmates
to other states and pay the receiving state to house Florida inmates.

Why not use an order to appear when an offender is in violation of
their probation for delinquent monetary obligation or drug use?

An order to appear would allow these probationers to remain employed,
to continue paying toward their monetary obligations, attend substance
abuse treatment at their own expense while waiting disposition of the
violation of probation in criminal or misdemeanor court.

An order to appear would also eliminate the need for an officer or
officers to arrest the probationer, reduce the inmate population in
the Marion County Jail and the prisons in Lowell, eliminate the need
for inmate families to apply for public assistance, reduce the
workload of the Department of Corrections, the state attorney, the
public defender office, and it would reduce the state deficit.

Why isn't an order to appear being used in the felony and misdemeanor
courts? Only the state attorney knows the answer to the question.


- ---
MAP posted-by: Steve Heath