The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Overcrowded Prisons


With respect to the recent article (“The 2018 Florida Bar Criminal Justice Summit: A First Step in Improving Florida’s Criminal Justice System,” January/February) in The Florida Bar Journal regarding overcrowded prisons and the swollen Department of Corrections budget, the solution seems clear; jail fewer people. As a former chief prosecutor, I witnessed legions of people going to prison for purely nonviolent offenses.

This was, and is, senseless.

First, let’s get sane about the criminalization of marijuana. It is far less dangerous to humans and society then alcohol…far less. Of the violent crimes I prosecuted, including death penalty cases, nearly all involved the use of alcohol and none involved marijuana.

Prison is for violent criminals and serial felons. When the Florida Legislature gains the courage to modernize our laws to reflect reality, a cure to the prison over-crowding problem will occur.

Robert L. McLeod II, St. Augustine