Sen. Collins and Rep. Jacques file bill to tackle repeat criminal offenders in Florida

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida lawmakers filed legislation that aims to keep the public safe by providing law enforcement more resources and capabilities to monitor “career” criminal offenders.

Rep. Berny Jacques, R-Seminole, and Sen. Jay Collins, R-Tampa, filed HB 1539 and SB 1634.

Jacques’ office touted that the bill will update Florida’s Career Offender Act by helping the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and local authorities in keeping track of repeat offenders.

“As a former prosecutor, I know that monitoring repeat offenders is key to keeping Florida safe,” Jacques said. “This critical legislation will provide law enforcement with the tools that they need to more effectively reduce potential harm brought on by repeat offenders.” 

The bill mandates repeat offenders reregister their status every year and requires the words “career offender” be placed on identification documents.

Collins called the measure a “crucial step towards enhancing public safety.”

“As a retired Army Green Beret, I know the importance of being equipped with the with the necessary tools to effectively monitor criminals and people who wish to do harm,” Collins said. “By updating the Career Offender Act, we provide our dedicated Law Enforcement officials the information and training they need to uphold the rule of law in our communities.”

“I unequivocally champion law and order, and I am proud to sponsor this good legislation,” he said.

The legislation defines “career offender” as a person designated as a “habitual violent felony offender, a violent career criminal, or a three-time violent felony offender” under state law.