The Rights Restoration Project
LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s Rights Restoration Project provides legal assistance and advocacy to formerly incarcerated Latinos seeking clemency to restore their voting rights. Our goal is to end the systematic disenfranchisement of Latinos and other communities of color in Florida.
In Florida, you retain the right to vote if you have completed a sentence for a misdemeanor conviction. However, Florida is one of only four states in the country that denies citizens with felony convictions the right to vote, unless restored by a clemency board. The felon disenfranchisement provision of Florida’s constitution was originally enacted in 1868 to suppress the vote of the newly freed slaves.
Today, African Americans and Latinos are increasingly deprived of their right to vote as a result of this ban. More than 1 in 10 Floridians, approximately 1.5 million people, cannot vote because of a felony conviction, more than any other state in the country. The few Floridians that manage to even apply for clemency join a waiting list of over 20,000 other applicants currently awaiting a fair hearing before the Executive Board. Yet, in 2013, the board approved only 569 applications, or 2.7% of all applications.
The Rights Restoration Project seeks to restore the civil rights of formerly incarcerated Latinos with a felony conviction by:
- Assisting with clemency applications and hearings;
- Conducting legal clinics and Know Your Rights community presentations to educate those with felony convictions about their constitutional and civil rights; and
- Advocating for legislative reform to address the disparate effect on Latino and other disenfranchised voters with felony convictions.
If you have completed all sentences and conditions of supervision imposed as a result of a felony conviction, you may be eligible to have your civil rights restored. This includes your right to:
- Hold Public Office
- Serve on a jury
For more information, or to schedule a case consultation or workshop, please contact: Martha Pardo at 321.250.2853 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rights Restoration Project
523 West Colonial Drive | Orlando, FL 32804