BRADENTON, Fla. —While most Florida Commission on Offender Review
decisions are made during hearings without the inmate present, parolees whose
supervision terms are being reviewed sometimes do show up in person.
Five of the 33 cases being considered during a
hearing on Oct. 9 related to inmates who were already out on parole. Parole in Florida is considered an act of grace by the state,
not a right. According to state rules, parolees are not allowed to
possess firearms or ammunition, use drugs or alcohol, or even “enter any
business establishment whose primary purpose is the sale/consumption of
By Deirdra Funcheon, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange
BRADENTON, Fla. — Inside a carpeted room at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, an audience of about 75 settled into rows of banquet chairs. In the center of the room was a table, topped with microphones and a box of tissues that would be plucked from liberally over the next few hours.
Here, family members, crime victims, lawyers
and police would step up and speak either for or against a particular offender
being returned to society. At the front of the room sat the three Florida
officials who would debate a score and make such decisions right there on the
spot, not unlike an episode of “American Idol,” though far more somber.