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Pasco Sheriff's Office sends letters to residents with criminal histories: CAIR-FL denounce Sheriff's improper surveillance

By Fox 13 News staff & AP, For Fox 13, On 27 July 2021, Read Original

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The Pasco County Sheriff's Office is sending letters to people with criminal histories offering help to get on a better path, but it's a practice critics are calling unwarranted harassment.

Sheriff Chris Nocco's letter is the latest step in a broad effort to monitor people considered likely lawbreakers, and focuses on adult violent and narcotics prolific offenders, the agency told Fox News. The campaign uses criminal histories, social networks and other intelligence to create the lists, part of an academic research grant through the University of South Florida and the Department of Justice. 

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.


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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