Florida Felons Will Get Faster Review Process
Good for Attorney General Bill McCollum. I still have problems with the way Florida handles the voting rights of felons. That said, McCollum's ideas are a step in the right direction.
These backlogs are unacceptable. The key of getting rid of them and moving the clemency process at a faster pace is providing the Parole Commission with sufficient staff to get their investigations and reports completed on all the applicants right away, and for the Clemency Board to hold more frequent hearings until the backlog is worked off. The Chairman of the Parole Commission has advised me ten additional temporary personal the Parole Commission could do its investigations and complete the reports to eliminate the backlogs within a year. At that point the Chairman and the Clemency Board staff believe that, with rare exceptions, no other applicant would have wait more than a year for restoration for restoration with or without a hearing.
To eliminate the backlog of civil rights restoration applications, to strengthen the list under the Clemency Board rules of those felons convicted of extremely serious crimes who are required to have a hearing, to prevent the revolving door effect of granting civil rights only then to revoke them because of a new conviction for career criminals, and to provide the Parole Commission with the resources to do its principal task of shepherding the successful re-entry of criminal offenders into our society after their sentences are completed, as well as support the Clemency Board, I propose the following:
1) Each member of the Cabinet commit two personnel or FTE slots to the Parole
Commission for one year to assist in working off the backlog, and at least two
other personnel and/or FTE slots be loaned for a year to the Parole Commission
for this purpose by the Department of Corrections, the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement, and/or the Department of Juvenile Justice. This would provide the
necessary temporary personnel without the need for legislative or budgetary
2) Schedule meetings of the Clemency Board monthly, or more frequently if
necessary, until the backlog is worked off;