Even as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continues to be criticized by Democrats for not shutting down the entire state of Florida due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the REFORM Alliance, a national prison reform group, is praising the first-term governor for his actions to protect correctional staff and prisoners from contracting the deadly disease.
Just this week, three Miami-Dade corrections officers tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, adding to the spreading virus impacting correctional facilities around the nation.
Now a small group of organizations, including the REFORM Alliance, Americans for Prosperity-Florida, The James Madison Institute, Faith and Freedom Coalition, and FAMM, are asking DeSantis to adopt a prison reform plan that was unveiled last week.
So what is the SAFER plan? It’s an acronym, of course.
S – Suspend jail for technical violations; Suspend probation office visits and payment of fines.
A – Adopt smart alternatives to incarceration and contact visitation.
F – Free medical visits and treatment, hand sanitizer, soap, and protective gear.
E – Extra precautions for correctional officers and staff.
R – Release elderly and vulnerable to home confinement.
“We applaud Gov. DeSantis for acting quickly to protect correctional staff and vulnerable incarcerated people from a potentially deadly COVID-19 outbreak,” said Erin Haney, National Policy Director at the REFORM Alliance. “Now, we’re asking him to continue that leadership by adopting more common-sense, life-saving solutions from the SAFER plan. When the people who live or work in our prisons and jails are protected from the virus, our communities are safer off. With one of the largest prison populations in the country, the Governor has an opportunity to step up and protect the health of all Floridians by adopting these recommendations.”