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Florida sheriff’s letter aims at people with criminal past: CAIR-Florida calls foul 'it's threatening'

By AP, For AP, On 27 July 2021, Read Original
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NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (AP) — A Florida sheriff is sending letters to people with criminal histories offering help to get on a better path, a practice critics call unwarranted harassment.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco’s letter is the latest step in a broad effort to monitor people considered likely lawbreakers. The campaign uses criminal histories, social networks and other intelligence to create the lists.

The letter starts off with the salutation “we are pleased to inform you that you have been selected to participate in a Prolific Offender Program” run by the sheriff’s office along with help from 18 entities ranging from the Salvation Army to alcohol abuse programs to the state Department of Children and Families.

“We are committed to your success,” the letter says. “We are also committed to pursuing consistent, firm, and fair consequences if you continue in the criminal behavior that is not only hurtful to you, but to your family and our community.”

Critics of this intelligence-based policing approach say it amounts to improper surveillance and unconstitutional monitoring of people based entirely on their past actions.

“The letter is basically threatening and promising a certain level of harassment and oversight that is in line with the stories we are hearing from the community,” said Raniah Elgendi, of the Council of American-Islamic Relations-Florida.


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