The ACLU of Florida is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the civil rights and liberties of all Floridians. As a nonprofit membership organization with over 130,000 members and supporters in Florida and more than 1.6 million supporters nationwide, we advance this mission through litigation, advocacy, and education.
Reform Florida’s Criminal Justice System:
Florida’s criminal justice system locks too many nonviolent individuals up for far too long and disproportionately impacts individuals of color and those with fewer resources.
We call on the Florida Legislature to enact meaningful criminal justice reforms:
- Reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and save taxpayer dollars by allowing incarcerated individuals to earn more incentive gain time through participating in rehabilitative programming, mental health and drug addiction treatment, and gaining the educational, vocational, and coping skills necessary to successfully transition out of prison.
- Reforming our incentive gain time system is estimated to save Floridians close to 1 billion dollars in five years. These funds should be reinvested in rehabilitative programming, mental health and drug treatment counseling, and reducing racial disparities in our prison population.
- Allow for judges to depart from draconian mandatory sentences when the judge determines that the mandatory sentence is excessive given the unique circumstances surrounding the offense.
- Ensure that a person’s driver’s license is not suspended for non-driving related offenses or because they can’t afford to pay certain fees and fines.
- Provide for judicial involvement in the determination of whether a child should be prosecuted as an adult.
- Eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system and ensure that all Floridians enjoy equal freedoms and protections.
Protect the Right to Vote:
The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy. We will advocate to ensure that a system of fair and open elections exists in which all qualified citizens — regardless of gender, race, socioeconomic status or any other category — may cast a vote and have it accurately counted. We will oppose any legislation that seeks to disenfranchise eligible voters or makes it more difficult for voters to exercise their fundamental right to vote.
Defeat Anti-Immigrant Legislation and Protect Immigrant Communities in Florida:
Immigrant rights are under attack and we will continue to work tirelessly to defeat xenophobic anti-immigrant legislation and ensure greater protections for all Floridians, regardless of where you were born. We will continue to vigorously oppose unconstitutional legislation that treats immigrants like second class citizens and will forcefully advocate for our most vulnerable populations.
Ensure No Individual is Discriminated Against Based on Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity or Expression:
The ACLU of Florida supports comprehensive LGBTQ protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Florida’s application of the 1964 U.S. Civil Rights Act and 1968 U.S. Civil Rights Act (Fair Housing Act) does not adequately address LGBTQ discrimination. While these laws currently protect some Floridians from discrimination, they do not offer adequate protections based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. We will support comprehensive legislation prohibiting discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and/or gender identity or expression in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Safeguard a Woman’s Ability to Determine Whether and When to Have a Child:
Reproductive rights are essential to women’s equality, autonomy, economic self-sufficiency, and dignity. We will oppose legislative efforts that seek to erode a woman’s constitutional right to abortion and we will be vigilant in protecting a woman’s privacy and ability to determine what is right for her.