FJI joins with other organizations calling on the City of Miami Commission to vote against a proposed anti-camping ban that would result in more arrests of people experiencing homelessness. We call on the City to honor the promises it made to the Pottinger court that it would not revert to criminalization.
Read more here.
The federal government passed the CARES Act to give some people $1200. Thanks to a class action lawsuits brought by other organizations, some incarcerated people are eligible to receive these payments. Here’s more information about the case: https://www.lieffcabraser.com/pdf/CARES_notice_v3.pdf. Please note: If you are or were incarcerated at some point since March 27, 2020, you may […]
We condemn the brutal murder of George Floyd and the countless other Black people who have been victims of police violence and racist oppression. As we deeply mourn their needless deaths, we recognize that they are only the most recent examples of a deeper current of racialized police brutality that pervades our law enforcement institutions. […]
For years, Miami Beach leaders have done their utmost to make the city an unpleasant place for homeless people. Advocates have long complained that the city’s homeless outreach office treats homeless residents rudely and isn’t open when it’s supposed to be. Since 2016, the city’s police force has used the courts to commit drug- and alcohol-addicted […]
Between March 12—when Miami-Dade County instituted a local state of emergency to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus—and April 30, police departments within Miami-Dade County arrested homeless people at least 313 times. Among the arrestees were at least 41 people charged with petit theft or attempted petit theft; 13 for simple battery; 26 for […]
Last year, a Florida prison inmate at Martin Correctional Institution used a hidden camera to document the conditions there. It showed inmates living in mold-infested squalor, passed out on synthetic drugs, and continuous, horrific violence. The video documents for the public what most legislators already knew: Florida’s prisons are crumbling. Illegal drugs are rampant. Assaults […]
In a video posted on Facebook, State Rep. Dianne Hart excoriated excessive heat, excessively short eating times, inadequate female hygiene materials and inmate treatment after spending Sunday at Lowell Correctional Institution, days after an inmate was brutally manhandled, leaving her gravely hurt. Hart’s been at Lowell several times before, but this is the first time […]
Advocacy groups are organizing a protest at Florida’s largest women’s prison, Lowell Correctional Institution, Saturday morning in the wake of a violent assault, allegedly by a correctional lieutenant, that gravely injured a 51-year-old inmate, sources have told the Miami Herald. The inmate, identified by sources as Cheryl A. Weimar, had suffered from both mental and […]
A 51-year-old inmate at the nation’s largest women’s prison was gravely injured this week in what was described as a violent assault by staff, including a lieutenant. According to sources close to Lowell Correctional Institution, the woman became involved in a confrontation with corrections officers as she sought to declare a psychological emergency. Under proper […]
A 28-year-old former Florida inmate with a history of epilepsy says he was beaten and thrown in solitary confinement for seven months after he involuntarily bit a correctional officer while having a seizure. In a federal civil rights lawsuit filed last month and first reported by The Miami Herald, Dean Higgins claims he suffered a grand mal seizure last September at […]
Last September, a 28-year-old autistic man experienced an epileptic seizure at Desoto Correctional Institution, about 50 miles north of Fort Myers. Instead of receiving prompt medical care, he alleges he was beaten by corrections officers, then placed in isolation for the balance of his two-year sentence. Dean Higgins is now suing the Florida Department of Corrections and […]
Miami – More than 60,000 prisoners in Florida go without relief from the scorching summer temperatures. FAMM and Florida Cares are inviting the public to participate in a “Beat the Heat” awareness event, where they will be challenged to spend three minutes in an interactive exhibit featuring a mock prison cell. The event will be held […]
How to Leave Prison Early” is not welcome in Florida prisons. The Department of Corrections has declared the how-to book on work release, parole and clemency off limits for the 96,000 inmates in state custody. “It makes no sense. All it does is explain Florida law to help inmates and families understand their options and […]
‘We Wouldn’t Treat Our Animals This Way’: Lack Of AC In Record Heat Puts Florida Prisons To The Test
This last May was the hottest ever recorded in the Sunshine State. That was followed by higher-than-average temperatures in June and July. The scorching hot temperatures means thousands of inmates across the state are spending what could potentially be a record-breaking summer without access to air conditioning. The Florida Department of Corrections operates 50 “major […]
Three Lake County correctional officers are charged and were fired after a YouTube video posted by an inmate showed them beating another inmate at the Lake Correctional Institute, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. The correctional officers in the video would also be fired immediately, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Read the full article.
We are deeply saddened to announce that our beloved founder, friend, and mentor Randy Berg has died after a battle with ALS. Randy co-founded the Florida Justice Institute (FJI) in 1978 and served as its Executive Director for 41 years until his retirement in 2019. During that time, he was a mentor, friend, colleague, leader, […]
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Randy Ratledge doesn’t get out much. Since he was arrested in 2012, Ratledge, 61, has a fear of the police. He doesn’t like leaving his home, and definitely doesn’t like coming downtown, where he was locked up for 117 days. He faced 120 years in prison, and under the state’s minimum mandatory […]