Close encounters of the incarcerated kind

Seems that Pinellas Sheriff Everett Rice has been, until recently, letting prisoners leave extra early as an overly generous tradeoff for working jail jobs.

How’d he do that? Illegally. His slammer’s good-time and gain-time policy had been, it turns out, in violation of state law for two years.

But Sheriff Rice had his reasons: severe overcrowding, since alleviated by expansion.

A better solution? Make overcrowded prison quarters — and maybe no ESPN — part of an inmate’s sentence. This is, after all, about punishment — and disincentives to return to such uncomfortable digs.

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