The United States currently incarcerates over 2.3 million prisoners in federal and state prisons and local jails across the country, meaning 1 out of every 99 American adults is currently confined to a jail or prison cell. With a prison population of 102,000 inmates and growing, Florida has the third largest prison population of any state in the country, managing these inmates in 137 facilities across the State and spending over 2.7 billion dollars per year to do so. These 102,000 inmates have no political voice, no say in how they are treated, and have almost no groups or organizations whose mission includes prisoners’ rights to advocate on their behalf. The small staff of the Florida Justice Institute accounts for many of the lawyers in Florida whose primary purpose involves the needs of institutionalized persons.
The Florida Justice Institute represents such prisoners in civil lawsuits challenging the conditions of their confinement in state prisons and jails, and has done so for over thirty years. We do not accept habeas or other criminal-related matters, and limits the cases it accepts to those meritorious cases which, if successful, will benefit large numbers of inmates and those which, although involving only one inmate, involve serious, long-term, or permanent injury. FJI's work in this area is funded primarily through donations, attorneys’ fees, and private foundation grants.
The Florida Justice Institute has extensive experience in litigating a wide range of corrections-related issues, including:
⇒ Deliberate Indifference to Serious Medical or Mental Health Needs
⇒ Excessive Force
⇒ Unconstitutional Conditions of Confinement
⇒ Censorship and Religious Freedoms: First Amendment Cases
⇒ Wrongful Death
⇒ Medical Malpractice
For examples of the Florida Justice Institute's work in the field of Corrections, please see our Cases page.