Switch to ADA Accessible Website
Orlando Criminal Lawyer

One Florida Legislator’s Criminal Justice Bill Points to Overarching Crisis in Florida’s Prisons


One Florida legislator—State Sen. Jeff Brandes—has declared Florida’s prison system to be in a “crisis,” even though, in December, Congress passed an overall criminal justice reform bill that reduced mandatory minimum sentencing requirements. Specifically, Brandes advocated for the state changing the threshold for finding that a felony had been committed and providing judges with more discretion in sentencing within Florida, going beyond the changes that federal reform made.

Brandes is not alone: A number of critics, including the Florida Supreme Court, have pointed out that Florida’s jails have essentially turned into mental asylums, where nurses regularly have to dispense medication to inmates suffering from bipolar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia, and do regular suicide checks. There are reportedly 125,000 people with mental illnesses placed in Florida prisons each year, most of them for low-level felonies and misdemeanors. For those that are a danger to themselves or others, they are placed in padded cells without a bed, sink, or toilet.

Jail Is the Only Option for Mental Health Help for a Number of Floridians

According to some experts, approximately 90 percent of the jails’ mentally ill suffer from schizophrenia, and are in and out of the jail, sometimes for decades. More than 44 percent of mentally ill inmates are back in jail within three months. For many, in order to receive the medication they so desperately need, they have no choice but to go back to jail.

South Florida Man with Mental Illness Starves To Death in Prison

Take a look at the case of Vincent Gaines: When he was sentenced to prison in 2013, state officials instead recommended that he placed in a mental institution because he suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations. He was, instead, transferred to the Dade Correctional Institute and eventually the Union Correctional Institution, where he died after suffering from malnourishment and losing 75 pounds in less than two years.  His family sued Florida Department of Corrections and former prison health provider Corizon Health, as well as Union’s warden, after he was clearly starved to death inside the prison and buried without first obtaining consent or even informing his family.

If You are Facing Criminal Charges, You Must Speak with an Experienced, Reputable Criminal Defense Attorney

Now that criminal justice reform has passed at the federal level, and more could be on the way at the state level, it is more important than ever that you consult an experienced criminal defense attorney if you have been accused of or charged with a crime. Sentencing and a judge’s discretion appears to be changing every day, which means that you need the very best in legal representation if you are going to protect yourself. Contact our Florida criminal defense attorneys at the Baez Law Firm today to find out more.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

Miami Office

1200 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1410
Miami, FL 33131
Office: 305-999-5100
Fax: 305-999-5111

Orlando Office

250 N Orange Ave, Suite 750
Orlando, FL 32801
Office: 407-705-2626
Fax: 407-705-2625

Email Us

Fields Marked * Are required

DISCLAIMER: Completing and submitting this form or otherwise merely contacting The Baez Law Firm or any individual at the firm will not establish an attorney/client relationship. Our firm cannot represent you until we determine that there would be no conflict of interest and that we are otherwise able to accept representation of your case. Please do not send any information or documents until a formal attorney/client relationship has been established through an interview with an attorney and you have been given authorization in the form of an engagement letter with The Baez Law Firm. Any information or documents sent via this form or otherwise prior to your receipt of an engagement letter will not be treated as confidences, secrets, or protected information of any nature. Submitting information regarding your potential case will not bar The Baez Law Firm from representing or continuing to represent a person or entity whose interest are adverse to your in condition with your case.

protected by reCAPTCHA Privacy - Terms
Please review the highlighted fields. They are required.
DISCLAIMER: This website contains information about The Baez Law Firm that includes testimonial statements from persons who are familiar with the firm's services. The testimonials shown are not necessarily representative of every person's experience with us. Testimonials from every client are not provided. As no two situations or persons are identical, the facts and circumstances of your situation may differ from those for which testimonials are shown. This website also includes information about some of the past results that we have obtained for our clients. Not all results are provided, and the results shown are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by us. No two situation are exactly alike; every person's situation is unique and the outcome for each person depends on the individual facts.

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Baez Law Firm. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab Contact Form Tab