Pretrial program saves money and preserves families

By JOIE ALEXANDER, COMMUNITY VOICES

As a member of the Volusia County Council, I have served on numerous committees over the years. Since 2009, I’ve had the pleasure of chairing the Public Safety Coordinating Council — a group that focuses much of its attention on our jail population.

Part of what helps the county keep the jail population in check — while also ensuring that space is available for those charged with serious crimes — is the Pretrial Services program. For several years, the Florida Legislature has considered bills that would negatively impact the program as it operates in Volusia County today. Supporters of these bills say that a person’s financial status should determine his/her eligibility for supervision by Pretrial Services. Therefore, only those individuals who are considered indigent would be entitled to this form of non-financial release. I respectfully disagree.

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