If Florida lawmakers don’t do anything policy wise soon, the state’s prison population could increase. That’s according to a report commissioned by the Florida Senate to promote the need for prison reform. The report is called “Data-Driven Solutions to Improve Florida’s Criminal Justice System.” Len Engel is the Director of Policy and Campaigns with the Crime and Justice Institute. […]
In this section you'll find recent developments and news stories that are relevant to our work.
In a landmark ruling with far-reaching implications, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker has found Florida’s scheme for restoring the voting rights of felons unconstitutional. Walker, in a 43-page order issued today, found that Florida “automatically disenfranchises” any individual who has been convicted of a felony and wishes to vote. “Florida strips the right to vote […]
About $5 million separates the Florida House and Senate’s criminal justice budget. But, while there are some differences, there are areas where both chambers agree. The Senate’s budget proposal is just over $4.6 billion. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) chairs the Senate Budget committee that looks at criminal justice issues. He says the budget reflects […]
The family of Darren Rainey, the 50-year-old schizophrenic inmate whose barbaric shower death led to sweeping reforms in the Florida prison system, has settled a civil rights lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections, the Miami Herald has learned. The settlement notice, filed in federal court in Miami last week, did not disclose the amount […]
For the first time in Florida history, voters will decide whether to grant the right to vote to an estimated 1.5 million convicted felons. Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Tuesday that the proposal gained the required 766,000 valid signatures to get on the November ballot. The state elections website showed 799,278 valid signatures. It […]
More inmates died in Florida prisons last year than in any other year on record, leaving the state scrambling to identify causes and find solutions. The tally, 428 inmate deaths in 2017, was released late Friday by the Florida Department of Corrections and showed a 20 percent increase over previous years. The inmates who died […]
When a series of disturbances and insurrections erupted across state prisons nationwide in 2016 on the anniversary of New York’s 1971 Attica prison riots, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) danced around acknowledging whether a set of incidents that had occurred in the Sunshine State were related to the nationwide movement. They were. But after Florida […]
In the eight years since its publication, “The New Jim Crow,” a book by Michelle Alexander that explores the phenomenon of mass incarceration, has sold well over a million copies, been compared to the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, been cited in the legal decisions to end stop-and-frisk and sentencing laws, and been quoted passionately on stage at the Academy […]
Lake Butler Work Camp, Fla., Jan. 16 — There is one place in the U.S. where slavery is still constitutionally legal: in prisons. The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, passed in 1864, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime. But prisoners held in this enslavement are organizing resistance. Brave prisoners […]
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Protesters gathered at the Florida Department of Corrections headquarters on Calhoun Street in downtown Tallahassee. The protests were held Tuesday in support of prisoners’ rights. WCTV’s Alicia Turner was on the scene. Alicia reported that one person was arrested and a window was broken at the building. Read the full article.