To: President Donald Trump, The Florida State House, The Florida State Senate, Governor Ron DeSantis, The United States House of Representatives, and The United States Senate

Stop imprisoning people who are no danger to the public

Stop wasting taxpayer money by imprisoning people who are not a danger to the public. Only people who commit crimes which endanger the public should be sentenced to prison terms. All others should be fined or sentenced to substance abuse treatment programs.

Why is this important?

Early settlers came to his country to escape debtors’ prison, yet we have recreated this situation here. While the Department of Corrections’ stated mission is to protect the public, our prisons are filled with people who commit minor crimes, suffer from mental illness, owe child support or even unpaid traffic tickets. While substance abuse treatment costs about half of what imprisonment costs taxpayers, we are still putting people in prison for using drugs. Yet we let out dangerous criminals who commit violent crimes after short terms in prison. People who are not a danger to the public should not be imprisoned. Money owed the state can be collected from their tax returns, pay checks, or welfare checks. Prisons can be converted to substance abuse programs, mental health facilities, housing for the homeless, or sheltered workshops to put low functioning and mentally ill people to work rather than paying them disability payments, and thus providing jobs for the corrections workers who would be laid off with prisons closing.