In 1995, Florida added a “three-strikes” law in an attempt to reduce crime — the measure provides for mandatory life imprisonment for repeat offenders who have two or more prior violent felony convictions. However, studies have shown three-strikes laws are not effective at reducing crime. In fact, just like many of the policies that promote punishment over rehabilitation, Florida’s law has contributed to the ballooning of the state’s prison populations and the financial burdens of the Department of Corrections.

State lawmakers should repeal these laws and institute policies that promote second chances and opportunities for rehabilitation.