Fla. sheriff's office helps inmates get IDs

A valid ID makes it easier for inmates to find employment after their release


Dylan Hart
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.

SARASOTA, Fla. — In an effort to reduce recidivism, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office partnered with Florida Licensing on Wheels Friday morning to provide and update state identification for inmates.

This is the second time the jail has presented the ID program, which is was created by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The program focuses on inmates who are about to be released or inmates who volunteer for it.

During the first event in March, state officials issued ID cards to 19 inmates.

On Friday, officials processed 33 inmates in about two hours, and the jail plans to bring the program back in the future.

"It's significant because a lot of these inmates don't have an opportunity to get an ID," said Sarasota Sheriff's Chief Deputy Col. Kurt A. Hoffman. "These are things in the outside world that we take for granted."

It can be difficult for inmates to get essential IDs even outside of jail because of outstanding fines or legal issues, Hoffman said. One inmate didn't know how to get a driver's license.

A valid ID makes it easier for them to find employment.

The ID card program comes after an inmate job fair, which was hosted earlier this week, and longstanding voluntary addiction recovery classes.

"I've caught a lot of bad guys in my career," Hoffman said. "To see the inmates and help them get back into society — that's a good day."

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©2019 Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Fla.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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