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Sen. Perry files bill to grant full restoration of civil rights to non-violent offenders

Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 4:36 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - A north central Florida legislator has filed a bill to make it easier for non-violent offenders to fully restore their right to vote.

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Sen. Keith perry filed bill 1932 on Monday, which would restore the rights to vote, sit on a jury, hold public office, and possess a firearm, to felons convicted of a non-violent crime and have completed their sentence.

“I believe we can make the process even more efficient for non-violent offenders to regain all of their civil rights and help them successfully reenter into society. This will result in a reduction of recidivism rates and costs borne by taxpayers relating to the criminal justice system,” said Sen. Perry in a press release.

While 2018′s Amendment IV gave many felons a path towards full restoration of their civil rights, they would still need to apply to an offender review board to make it happen.

Perry’s bill would make it automatic for many.

Nearly 1.5 million individuals in Florida, whose voting rights could be restored under the 2018 Amendment Four, must still submit an application through the Florida Commission on Offender Review (FCOR) to receive full restoration of their civil rights.

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“We are all familiar with a study by the Florida Parole Commission that found ex-felons who had their full rights restored were less likely to recidivate or commit new offenses and the recidivism rate for this group decreased significantly,” said Senator Perry. “We have an opportunity to further improve the process and efficiently restore the basic constitutional rights of individuals with a prior criminal record who have paid their debts to society.”

The bill needs to be reviewed in a senate committee before move forward

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