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What is the impact of Florida’s high incarceration rate?

Throughout the United States, growing incarceration rates remain a major problem. Unfortunately, this problem is showing no signs of slowing down in Florida. With one of the nation’s highest incarceration rates, having so many people locked up creates more problems for this state’s residents than you might think.

How high incarceration rates impact families

Some people might think that getting incarcerated only affects the person who is behind bars. However, that isn’t true. Instead, there are major impacts of Florida’s incarceration rate that extend far beyond its prisoners. If someone goes to jail that was the main source of income for a family, they all suffer.

It’s also important to think about what happens to children when one or both of their parents go to jail. In these situations, children often end up living in poverty. Making matters worse, having incarcerated parents can hurt these children’s chances of doing well in school. They are also more often at risk of getting suspended or expelled compared to other students. If things persist, it could lead to a child growing up to be someone needing a criminal defense attorney.

The budgetary impacts of Florida’s incarceration rate

Having so many people behind bars also places an immense strain on Florida’s budget. This state maintains one of the nation’s highest percentages of mentally ill, drug-addicted, and senior prisoners. Caring for these inmates incurs more costs than providing care for other inmates. In some cases, these increased care costs force budget cuts from other important programs.

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