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 […]
In this section you'll find recent developments and news stories that are relevant to our work.
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 […]
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 […]
Florida Department of Corrections staff briefed a House panel on the structure and status of prison health care Wednesday before detailing some of their 2019-20 budget requests. DOC in recent years has faced budget shortfalls, causing them to make dramatic cuts to inmate health care services. The $55 million shortfall last budget year caused officials to slash substance-abuse, […]
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (NEWS SERVICE FLORIDA) – Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to fund the Florida Department of Corrections next year at $2.7 billion, a spending plan that has some criminal-justice reform advocates pointing to struggles facing Florida’s prison system as a result of increased health-care costs. Following litigation, the state needs to meet court mandates requiring it […]