criminal justice system

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This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning.

The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major facilities” across the state. Only 18 of them have air conditioning in “most of their housing,” according to the department.

Florida was among the first states to pass mandatory minimum drug sentencing laws in 1979.

The Legislature loosened those requirements in 1993, then reinstated them six years later.  Now, a sweeping proposal of criminal justice reforms in Tallahassee would again make changes.

The Future Of Prison Reform In Florida

Feb 10, 2019
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Attempts to reform the way criminals are sentenced and how much time they spend behind bars have made little headway in the Florida legislature in recent years.

But following the passage of federal criminal justice reform in December, it seems state legislators from both parties may be ready to take a new look at reforming the state’s prison system.

AMY BETH BENNETT VIA AP POOL / WLRN

The legal team defending the confessed-Parkland shooter argued in front of a Broward Circuit judge Friday morning that the state commission investigating the shooting should not have had access to Nikolas Cruz's confidential medical and mental health records. 

The team of public defenders, led by attorney Melisa McNeill, asked Judge Elizabeth Scherer to hold the Broward Sheriff's Office in contempt of court for releasing Cruz's confidential medical and mental health records to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission.