State Representative Yvonne Hayes Hinson (D-Gainesville) and State Senator Rosalind Osgood (D-Fort Lauderdale) recently filed legislation House Bill 855 and Senate Bill 802. It is the intent of the Restorative Justice Program to authorize the establishment of structured disciplinary training programs within the Department of Corrections expressly intended to instill self-discipline, improve work habits, increase accountability and reparative behavior, and improve self-confidence for inmates. Victims will be notified of restorative justice, if available in the jurisdiction, as a voluntary option, or a part of a deferred prosecution or pretrial intervention.
Representative Yvonne Hayes Hinson issued the following statement:
“I feel privileged that victims of crime have come to me to tell me their stories. Sometimes, both victims of crime and offenders want to repair the damage that was done because of the offenders’ actions. This bill would give victims the option to engage in this process, but only if it is their wish. Restorative justice reduces the likelihood of further harm to the community and gives victims a choice in their healing.”
Senator Rosalind Osgood issued the following statement:
“SB 802 is a chance to not only redefine the term “Restorative Justice” within legislation, but a chance to help our constituents redefine themselves through self-worth and reparative training, which eventually leads to positive personal development. SB 802 allows former inmates the space to grow as a person without shame or the external pressures of doubt. It’s transformational.”