July 21, 2018
GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE
This questionnaire was created and designed by the Campaign for Prison Reform (CPR), a statewide, 501c4 conglomerate committed to ending mass incarceration and the ravages of abuse, discrimination and systemic exploitation that exist in the criminal justice and immigration systems.
Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidates Philip Levine, from left, Jeff Greene, Gwen Graham, Andrew Gillum and Chris King take the stage before a town hall broadcast Thursday, August 9, 2018 at Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, Fla. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP) The Associated Press
2018 Campaign for Prison Reform
Candidates are asked to indicate whether they agree (Yes) or disagree (No) with the statements below. Candidates are additionally encouraged to respond in detail.
I. PRISON CONDITIONS
1. Acknowledging that many of Florida’s prisons do not have air conditioning and prisoners are made to endure Florida’s sweltering summer heat without it, I support the provision of fans in every quad or the installation of cooling systems that would keep the temperatures in the quads at or below 78 degrees.
2. I would support the implementation of a medical care system that would triage patients within 3 days to replace the current, inadequate 7-day plan.
3. I support the maintenance of a mandatory detox dormitory for those prisoners who fail drug tests as opposed to the current regime of extended confinement, loss of gain time, and loss of visitation privileges.
4. I oppose all cuts to rehabilitative and substance abuse programs in the Florida prison system.
5. In order to address the abuse of prisoners with mental health conditions, I would support policies that (1) divert those with mental illness from prison facilities in the first place and (2) forbid corrections officers with any unsustained use-of-force incidents from working with prisoners with mental health conditions.
6. I support establishing minimum criteria for administrative/disciplinary (also called CM1/2 status) confinement that would include a weekly call home and the opportunity for contact visitation once a month.
7. Whereas I recognize solitary confinement to be cruel and unusual punishment, I support policies that forbid the practice in all correctional facilities.
8. I support the development and implementation of educational and rehabilitative programs staffed and/or developed by outside volunteers.
II. PRISONERS AND FAMILIES RIGHTS
1. I will oppose and/or preempt policies that limit contact (in-person) visitation with prisoners in Florida prisons.
2. In the interest of nurturing the family and community ties that are bulwarks against recidivism, I believe that prisoners should be placed in facilities no more than 150 miles from their homes.
3. I support the mandatory administration of the GED test for all prisoners including those with life sentences if the testing fee is paid for by the prisoner.
4. Acknowledging that Florida’s prisoners worked over 3 million combined hours last year outside of the prisons for the benefit of the state and of private corporations, I believe that they are entitled to adequate compensation for all of their labor performed within and without Florida’s prisons’ walls not less than the Florida minimum wage ($8.25).
5. Based on the above, I will use my office to advocate for guaranteeing wages paid to prisoners for their labor, which at present range from $0.00 to a maximum of $0.55 an hour, to be indexed to the Florida minimum wage ($8.25).
6. I support legislation that would reduce the negative effects of Truth in Sentencing laws in Florida and allow prisoners to retroactively earn additional days served below the 85% maximum for participation in education, core, betterment and any other programs completed.
7. I support providing prisoners with the necessary classes, tests, and other materials that would allow them to reenter society with restored driving privileges.
8. I would support policies requiring the FDC to provide education in employable skills for every prisoner to the minimum extent that they are provided with the training and resources to qualify for relevant professional licenses and certificates. I also agree that such education programs should (1) under no circumstances be used to extract unpaid labor from prisoners and (2) they should not be cost prohibitive.
9. I support the universal implementation by probation authorities of automatic phone (call), text, and email appointment reminders for those on state and county probation.
10. I support the provision of subsidized transitional housing to newly released prisoners for at least 90 days to lessen the likelihood of homelessness.
11. I support eliminating barriers to obtaining professional licenses affecting people with felony convictions.
12. Whereas the FDC engages in censorship of its critics and of material informing prisoners of their rights by banning such material as The New Jim Crow and Prison Legal News for dubious reasons such as posing a “security threat,” I support greater transparency in the FDC’s literature review process and I encourage greater scrutiny on potential violations of prisoners’ First Amendment rights.
13. If elected, I would hold the FDC accountable for retaliation against prisoners for critical speech, journalism, and grievances.
III. ICE DETENTION FACILITIES
1. I believe that any elected official ought to be able to visit Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities in our state without advance notice.
2. I believe that journalists ought to be able to visit ICE detention facilities in our state without advance notice.
3. I will oppose the construction of new ICE detention facilities in Florida.
4. I oppose and would reject federal incentives to accommodate ICE, such as making municipal, county, or state facilities available to house ICE detainees as has happened in Wakulla County.
IV. JUVENILE JUSTICE
1. I believe our state should aim to reduce arrests of juveniles.
2. I believe we should limit the use of out-of-school suspensions in Florida schools.
3. I oppose policies that would increase the presence of police or school resource officers (SROs) in Florida schools.
4. In the interest of ending the school-to-prison pipeline, I will advocate for increased funding for Florida schools.
5. In the interest of ending the school-to-prison pipeline, I will advocate for a redirection of state funds from policing towards education.
6. I oppose prosecuting minors as an adults regardless of the charge.
1. I support the establishment of a volunteer Prisoner Advocacy Board comprised on non-FDC employees with the power to inspect prisons without advance notice, represent prisoners at confinement hearings, and conduct other ancillary duties in the interest of the prisoner’s safety and personal development.
2. I would push the FDC to publish the records of state prison incident, disciplinary, and MINS reports for public consumption.
3. I support institutionalizing a state-funded comprehensive study of post-incarceration outcomes which includes but expands beyond recidivism rates.
VI. PREVENTION, DECARCERATION AND SENTENCING REFORM
1. I support increased funding for mental health care for all Floridians whether within or without Florida’s prisons, jails, and other detention facilities.
2. I support treating drug use and drug addiction as public health problems that are only exacerbated by imprisonment according to research and therefore require public health, not “criminal justice”, solutions.
3 . Whereas the FDC has no opinion on the matter, I support the reinstatement of parole in the state of Florida.
4. I will refuse campaign contributions from private prison companies such as GEO Group, Centurion, etc.
5. I support increasing the amount of resources available to youth outreach programs and to the exploration and implementation of alternatives to incarceration.
The Questionnaire was circulated to all candidates. We are patiently awaiting responses and will post them on this site.
Note: During the Town Hall Broadcast, Chris King stated his intent to cut Florida’s mass incarceration by 50%!