Society-First is seeking to develop platforms for solutions that are aimed at stopping the victimization of our society. We hope that through awareness and providing the best-laid plans in criminal justice reform we can help thwart this assault on our communities.
We aim to employ preventative measures by suggesting solutions that curtail mass incarceration, while also ensuring that Society comes First. To understand the significance of a solution, we must first understand the magnitude of the problem.
REFORMING THE SYSTEM
The reform of Florida's criminal justice system is of paramount importance and would benefit society as a whole. The benefits affect society in a multitude of different ways, including but not limited to reducing taxes, reducing crime, and increasing state revenue.
Two of the biggest prison-related issues facing Florida are overpopulation and recidivism. Overpopulation demands large sums of tax-sourced monies be spent, while recidivism creates a continuous line of victims and expenses. As the prison population goes down it will reduce yearly prison costs, allowing the state to spend that money on other areas such as education and health care. Lastly, the state revenue will increase, because of additional law-abiding taxpayers putting back into, rather than taking away from our society.
By reforming offenders and giving them a real, tangible opportunity, they will not re-offend and return to prison...ultimately, reducing crime and reversing the "compound interest effect". (The compound interest effect: An unchanged offender gets out, and meets two other people and teaches them his/her criminality i.e., selling drugs, credit card fraud, gang banging, etc...one becomes three, three becomes nine, nine becomes twenty-seven...so on and so on.)
By utilizing our forward-thinking process, we are creating a forum for others to contribute new ideas and resources...essentially, building a machine that informs and educates the public concerning realities they never knew existed. It is our focus to help present comprehensive plans of reform through education, legislation, and judicial directives that create new innovative changes.
For the longest time, the terrain has been too rough to continue traveling on, and as Florida has just begun taking its First Step, we must continue to find new routes in forming a productive criminal justice system. A system that is not only good at stopping crime but also proficient in rehabilitating the criminal. Only when both sides of the equation are given equal consideration can a solution be found that truly puts, Society First.
Florida as well as the Nation as a whole, is facing a critical issue in warehousing offenders as life sentences and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines have created a virtual gridlock within our prison system.
Society-First will explore how Florida can find formulas that maximize the potential for productive reforms. We will address the "why" of mass incarceration, the "how" to correct the problems, and the "who" should be released back into society. By incorporating society into the equation, we seek to reach a level of success that will lead a nation to new never-before-seen heights.
SPECIAL INTEREST/PERSONAL AGENDAS
In believing that society comes first, we cannot leave it to special interest groups, or politicians that have personal agendas to control how our criminal justice system affects the world around us. It is this kind of counter-productive business that pads their pockets while emptying ours.
For far too long now, it's these uncontrolled and ungoverned manipulations that have created a system that cares nothing about society as it releases unchanged (or even worse) offenders back out to us...knowingly to repeat the process. It is not only a revolving door to the prison system, but also a revolving door to the bank for all who have shares in the prison contracts, companies, and vendors. (See, "Following the Money of Mass Incarceration" by Peter Wagner and Bernadette Rabuy,(https://www.prisonpolicy.org/reports/money.html)
PRESENT PRISON SYSTEM
The need to stop crime from having such a devastating effect in our communities before the crime is committed is ideal. Yet such an ideal possibility will only come by creating a system that is willing to forgive, for a society that fails to forgive is a society set up to fail.
When there is no road for redemption, it has no choice, but to be the road less traveled. This is why we must, first and foremost, change the mindset of those who have been cast away, creating a ripple effect that will begin to change the subculture of criminality that has decimated the world around us. To do this, one must understand what the present prison system in Florida is producing, and how that plays into the criminality on the outside.
We at Society-First will paint a multi-facet picture to bring the truth of why and how the "compound interest effect" can either produce for the better...or the worst. By creating a system that reverses its compound interest effect, we will, automatically, reverse the damage that it has had in times past.
Once the truth is seen, only then can society demand a change that puts them first, and prevents the re-creation of criminality within their communities. The simple question to be asked is, "Does our system advocate mass incarceration, and does it release the unprepared in a worse condition than they entered?" It is this simple logic that has been escaping the equation for far too long, and we must move past such primitive thinking.
Everybody is looking at many different pictures when it's simply just one big picture...and it's this mosaic of awareness that Society-First seeks to paint. Now, join us in the viewing of today's prison system, and what it produces.