Expanded Citation Authority


Maya Szilak
Former Resident Senior Fellow, Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties
Marc Hyden
Director, State Government Affairs


Florida’s jails are increasingly overcrowded—costing taxpayers significant sums.

Jurisdictions within Florida have reported a shortage of police and corrections officers.

Greater use of citation authority in lieu of arrest could alleviate these issues, while protecting law enforcement officers and reducing recidivism rates.


While overall crime has declined, violent crimes have increased in Florida. From 2019-2020, murders increased by 15 percent, and unfortunately, this trend may continue.

At the same time, the National Police Foundation determined that 86 percent of departments around the country are short-staffed. This can be plainly seen in Florida where certain counties have announced police officer and broader law enforcement worker shortages. Widespread jail overcrowding within Florida—due in part to the COVID-19-induced judicial backlog—has exacerbated these shortages.

Given these realities, it is critical for Florida lawmakers to explore methods to support law enforcement officers and protect the general public, while also keeping jail crowding in check and minimizing taxpayer costs.

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