Group Demands Truly Automatic Civil Rights Restoration

March 11, 2009

Joyce Hamilton Henry, Central Florida Regional Director, 407.340.3550
La Rhonda Odom, Racial Justice Project Associate, (786) 363-2718 or

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) released a report yesterday about Florida’s civil rights crisis and the need for a truly automatic civil rights restoration process. The FRRC is hosting events around the state, including an event in Orlando on March 12, 2009, to raise awareness of this issue.

WHAT: Month-long Rights Restoration Campaign Launch

WHEN: TODAY, March 12, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: Orange County Courthouse, 425 N Orange Ave., Orlando


ACLU of Florida
Florida Voters League
Orlando ACORN
Philip Randolph Institute
Democracia USA

The groups will announce their plan for a month full of programming around restoration of civil rights, including trainings, workshops, and consistent locations for direct services with rights restoration, which could become part of a year-long program. Representatives and members of these organizations will be on hand to speak with the press. More information about rights restoration can be found at or

More information about the report released by ACLU of Florida today can be found at

Florida’s civil rights restoration process remains lengthy and cumbersome for too many people with past felony convictions. Many people who are eligible and have completed applications are still waiting, in some cases for two to three years. Although the changes to the Clemency Rules in 2007 were intended to make the process easier for some, the fact is that the process is still burdensome to personnel and monetary resources, which translates into justice delayed.

These events are intended to get the word out and put pressure on Governor Crist and the Clemency Board to get rid of the archaic, costly restoration of civil rights process in favor of one that is truly automatic and paper-free.

“FRRC members are committed to fighting for a truly automatic, paperwork-free civil rights restoration process, said La Rhonda Odom, ACLU of Florida Voting Rights Associate. “Florida cannot continue to manage such a costly, time-intensive, overly bureaucratic system process when there are so many cuts being made to our state’s budget in areas that need the money. At the current rate, not only will the system fail to process applications in a timely manner but the State of Florida will go broke trying to do so. The Governor and Cabinet have not only a moral obligation but a duty to do the right thing for the State of Florida.”

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2009 Press Releases