Gov. DeSantis hails his first-year accomplishments, but your view may vary

BY: - December 23, 2019

Things went swimmingly for Florida during 2019 – at least, judging by year-end summaries issued by the governor’s office and state agencies. Aides to Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a long list of accomplishments for his first year in office in areas including education, economic development, health care, hurricane response and recovery, and public safety. He […]


Forcing the accused to purchase their freedom creates a two-tiered system of justice

BY: - December 17, 2019

Bail reform has received a lot of buzz lately. Numerous states have implemented or are studying ways to make pretrial release systems more fair and effective, while improving public safety.  Taxpayers are saving tens of millions of dollars otherwise wasted by keeping people unnecessarily locked up. So far, Florida is behind the curve. Monetary bail […]

In federal hearing, judge appears skeptical of Florida’s new felon-voting restoration system

BY: - October 8, 2019

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle hasn’t clearly signaled how he will rule on a challenge to the Florida Legislature’s law implementing the state’s felon voting restoration law, but he’s made one thing crystal clear: The system is a “mess.” At stake as a two-day hearing wound down Tuesday morning was whether hundreds of thousands of […]


Homestead: Close the detention prison for good — it’s a human rights catastrophe and a moral abomination

BY: - October 4, 2019

On Aug. 6, I and other representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) toured the Temporary Emergency Influx Shelter in Homestead, where undocumented migrant children had been detained. We expected to see how the children were treated, in hopes of bringing some accountability to a place that has avoided public oversight. But, according to […]

early voting booth

Threats to our voting rights come from outside and within Florida

BY: - August 12, 2019

As the 2020 presidential election approaches, our state faces numerous challenges to a free and fair voting process. Some challenges may come from outside our country; we know of attempts by Russian operatives to hack election systems in at least two Florida counties in 2016, and we can expect more such actions. But when it […]

DeSantis asks Fla. Supreme Court to weigh in on Amendment 4

BY: - August 9, 2019

Immediately after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that narrows the field of felons who can vote following the passage of Amendment 4 in November, a host of civil rights groups filed a lawsuit in federal court. They claimed the law unconstitutionally denies the right to vote to citizens with a past felony conviction based solely […]

Fla. Dem. Rep. calls border wall ‘narcissistic monument to nativism’

BY: - July 5, 2019

South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is singing the praises of a judicial decision made earlier this week that upholds a freeze on using Pentagon money to build a border wall on the Southern border. A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled late Wednesday […]

Research shows putting young prisoners in solitary confinement is dangerous. Some lawmakers want to ban the practice

BY: - March 4, 2019

Putting young prisoners in solitary confinement greatly increases the risk that they’ll commit suicide. With that as a backdrop, a North Florida legislator is pushing legislation that would prevent the Florida Departments of Corrections and Juvenile Justice from holding anyone  younger than 19  in solitary confinement – except under limited  circumstances. Sponsored by state Senator […]

Florida Immigrant Coalition

Republicans pushing hard-line anti-immigration measures in Legislature

BY: - February 19, 2019

With a national backdrop of anti-immigrant fervor whipped up by President Trump, Florida Republicans are intent on passing laws in the upcoming 2019 legislative session to crack down on undocumented immigrants. They’ve tried and failed to pass tougher laws before, but this year they think they’ll be successful, and Gov. Ron DeSantis is a supporter. […]

National anti-censorship groups blast Florida Dept. Of Corrections for banning recent editions of socialist publication

BY: - December 5, 2018

National anti-censorship groups are chastising the Florida Department of Corrections for banning the Militant, a weekly newspaper published by the Socialist Party. Christopher Finn, the executive director of the National Coalition Against Censorship, accused the Department of Corrections’ Literature Review Committee of abusing its censorship power in a letter sent last week to DOC Library […]

banned books

The strange world of banned books in Florida prisons

BY: - December 4, 2018

More than eight years after it was published, author Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow continues to reap praise for its depiction of the racial impacts of contemporary criminal justice policies, with some book critics hailing it as one of the most important works of the 21st Century. But until the American Civil Liberties Union […]

Peter Brown, via ACLU of Florida

Groups file lawsuit on behalf of Florida Keys resident who was almost deported – despite being U.S. citizen

BY: - December 3, 2018

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida and the Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit against Monroe County Sheriff Richard Ramsay on Monday, claiming that he unlawfully detained and nearly deported a U.S. citizen in coordination with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to the suit, Monroe County resident Peter Brown turned […]