How serious is the incarceration problem in Florida?

There is no doubt that people who are convicted of or plead guilty to criminal charges are facing some serious penalties, especially here in the U.S. Besides the fines, community service and sex offender registration requirements that can come with a criminal conviction, you are also likely looking at incarceration.

Incarceration can be considered as the go-to punishment for criminal offenses. In fact, incarceration rates in this country are far higher than they are in any other country. If that’s not bad enough, a recent report notes that if each state in the U.S. were a separate country, Florida would have the ninth highest rate of incarceration in the world.

According to Prison Policy Initiative, Florida imprisons people at a rate of 868 per 100,000. To put this into context, Florida imprisons people at a higher rate than:

  • Cuba
  • Thailand
  • Brazil
  • Iran
  • Mexico
  • The U.K.

In fact, the only territories that have a higher incarceration rate are seven other U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

This means that if you are convicted of a crime in this state, you are very likely going to be looking at jail or prison time as a part of your sentence. This is true whether you are charged with homicide or non-violent drug crimes, due in large part to factors like aggressive prosecution efforts and harsh mandatory minimums.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to take your situation and your defense seriously. Jail time can be devastating to your career, family and reputation, and it can make it difficult to secure employment and even find a place to live. Considering all that is at stake and the efforts you are up against, it is critical that you discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney. With an effective defense, you could avoid conviction and/or jail time.