For years, Richard Jackson has needed a wheelchair for mobility, and used one without incident during his stay in prison. When he was transferred to Santa Rosa Correctional Institution, however, prison officials took away his wheelchair while in his cell. He was locked alone in his cell for over a year, only permitted to leave for […]
Here are some examples of our work and how it's making a difference across the state of Florida.
FJI, co-counseling with Florida Institutional Legal Services, sued the Florida Department of Corrections for the death of Rommell Johnson. Mr. Johnson was severely asthmatic and one day suffered an asthma attack that required a nebulizer treatment in his cell. Later that evening, he was sprayed with chemical agents (pepper spray) for allegedly making noise in […]
FJI, on behalf of Housing Opportunities Project for Excellence, has filed two lawsuits alleging racial discrimination in the renting of apartments. The Complaints are available here and here. HOPE sent fair housing testers to two apartment complexes–one in Miami and one in Opa-Locka. The tests revealed that, on the same days, the Black testers were […]
FJI, on behalf of an incarcerated man with a serious and debilitating hernia, filed a lawsuit against the Florida Department of Corrections and Corizon (the private prison medical provider), seeking to secure an immediate surgery to repair his hernia. A motion for preliminary injunction was filed, and a hearing was held in Tallahassee in September […]
UPDATE 2/27/15: Yesterday the City of Miami Commissioners approved a $975,000 payment to the Estate of Travis McNeil to settle a civil rights case stemming from McNeil’s fatal 2011 shooting by a Miami police officer. Mr. McNeil’s Estate had already reached a $150,000 settlement with federal agencies who were also participating in the operation that resulted […]
Joining with other jails around the country, in 2014 the Leon County Jail in Tallahassee adopted a policy that required all incoming mail to inmates to be in postcard form. Family and friends were prohibited from sending letters in envelopes, or enclosing any information like report cards or newspaper articles. Because of the Postcard Only […]
After the Court denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment, a bench trial was held in January 2015. A decision from the Court is pending.
FJI, along with Disability Rights Florida, brought a civil rights lawsuit on behalf of Jennifer Kern under the Florida Civil Rights Act, against the owners of the Days Inn North Beach. Jennifer must use a wheelchair for mobility. Early in 2013, Jennifer made a reservation at the Days Inn and even called ahead to be […]
Christopher Villanueva lost his left leg in an accident and for years has used a below-the-knew prosthesis. However, prison officials took it away from him when he entered prison. As a result, his leg has shriveled, and he has lost muscle tone and mass because of the non-use of his leg, and he has lost […]
On appeal for a second time, the Eleventh Circuit upheld Judge Scriven’s order and agreed the drug testing program was unconstitutional, affirming the permanent injunction. Read the ACLU’s statement, or you can view media coverage here. Today, a three-judge panel at the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a 2011 Florida law mandating […]