Nearly 20% of the people in the United States serving a Life sentence without the possibility of parole are in Florida. Considering Florida has only 6.47% of the US population, that number is HUGELY disproportionate. 11% of those incarcerated in a Florida Prison are there for Life without Parole. These statistics comes from a report titled, “No End In Sight” from The Sentencing Project.
The report highlights this country’s growing trend in locking people up for life. Where the entire US prison population was under 200,000 in the early 70’s, today there are more than 200,000 alone who are serving life sentences! And though not a highlight from the report, but certainly a take-away for our purposes, between 2012 and 2020, the number of people serving life for a sexual-related offense increased by 40%!
The report does not address it, but there are many other “for life” trends that have rapidly increased in popularity, including lifetime probation and lifetime registration (which every registrant in Florida is on). The problem with all “for life” sentences, whether inside or outside the fence, they fail to acknowledge that people can (and do) change, they fail to account for limited financial resources to administer an exponentially growing population, and they fail to account for an aging population.
The Sentencing Project is doing some great things. We hope they throw our cause some attention also.