No mandatory minimums or prison time: Major changes coming to how Orange-Osceola SAO prosecutes crimes, sources say

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — 9 Investigates uncovered plans of the Orange and Osceola County State Attorney’s Office to overhaul the way criminals are prosecuted, including not filing charges at all in some crimes.

Legal experts said some of the changes could lead to trouble.

READ: New Orange-Osceola State Attorney Monique Worrell talks criminal justice reform, changes already underway in office

Multiple sources told 9 Investigates the policy changes being looked at include not filing charges for so-called victimless crimes and no longer seeking prison time for most crimes.

New State Attorney Monique Worrell ran on a platform that focused on criminal justice reform, but the state attorney’s office isn’t confirming specific details just yet.

READ: Family ‘deeply disappointed and enraged’ after outgoing state attorney issues death penalty waivers in high-profile murder cases

The state attorney’s office sent an email saying it’s in the process of formulating what it’s calling a “community health and safety plan.”

The office said that’s still being vetted and is in the drafting phase. They added it wouldn’t be appropriate to provide specific details yet.

READ: New Orange-Osceola County state attorney creating new unit to investigate allegations of police brutality, misconduct

When it comes to criminal justice in the U.S., there have been calls for reform, including pushback on long sentences for relatively minor crimes.

According to sources, the plans call for:

  • Not filing charges for so-called victimless crimes.
  • Not pursuing minimum mandatory sentences, even for gun crimes.
  • And not seeking prison time in many cases, just jail time.

Stay tuned to Channel 9 Eyewitness News for updates.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.