Communities of color, returning citizens and those facing economic disenfranchisement are disproportionately arrested, prosecuted and sentenced. Meaning very often that the success or failure of our communities lies in the hands of Sheriffs, State Attorneys and Judges. We have the power this election to build a better future for our families by voting to decarcerate the system. 

We fundamentally believe that all people deserve to be safe, and the current criminal legal system does not keep us safe.

In These Times of Crisis

We want to see less of our families, communities, and cities locked up – incarcerated people have been ignored in the early weeks of COVID. As this crisis continues, now is the time to take care of all of us. The choices our government makes now to help us weather the outbreak of this virus can also set a better course for the future of (our communities/counties). State Attorneys can do that.


Our Demands

End the War on Poverty

The criminal legal system is harshest by design to those who are the most economically disenfranchised. From the criminalization of poverty via Jim Crow era vagrancy laws, the arrests of sex workers and low level drug offenders, to the bail system that forces people with no conviction to sit in jail, the legal system pushes families deeper into poverty and puts children into the custody of the state.

That’s why we demand: the decriminalization of sex work, homelessness, and low level drug offenses, the substantial and sustained reduction of pre-trial detention instead replacing it with direct services for those in need of them, and an end to the cash bail system.

Let Kids Be Kids

Children shouldn’t have mugshots, or be locked in cages. At every turn, children should be given opportunities to learn and grow. Too often the State Attorney’s reaction is to incarcerate children, and in extreme cases youth are sent to adult jails before they even reach trial. It disrupts their education at a critical moment of development, exposes them to bullying and violence they are too young to defend against, and creates enduring psychological trauma by tearing them from their homes and support networks. The solution is simple: State Attorneys need to commit to not charging children at all. Offer all kids every opportunity to stay at home instead of being pushed through the criminal justice system.

Decarcerate & Expand Alternatives

State attorneys should support care rather than incarceration. The prosecution of low-level offenses, pre-trial detention and forcing plea bargains aren’t practices that keep people safe. Instead of driving mass incarceration by putting as many people behind bars as possible, prosecutors should push for community-based rehabilitation and divert people away from the prison system. Florida’s incarceration rate is 21% higher than the national average. As a result, Florida spends $2.4 billion a year on the Department of Corrections – about twice as much as the budget for the state’s 28 public colleges. We need State Attorneys that are committed to lowering the jail and prison population statewide and will refuse to support the development of new jails or Prisons in the state.

Protect Immigrant Communities

  1. When local law enforcement becomes immigration enforcement, no one is safer. Immigrant communities are part of our fabric of our state, and should be protected, not targeted. That’s why it’s critical that State Attorneys comply with the following demands:
    1. Create “No ICE zones” at local courthouses. DAs can move to block ICE agents from entering courtrooms especially for cases where immigrants are testifying on behalf of the prosecution.
    2. Support post-conviction relief opportunities. Under Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court ruled that noncitizens must be made aware of all potential immigration consequences when accepting guilty plea bargains. If not, immigrants with convictions can file to have their conviction vacated. DAs can streamline internal processes to provide post-conviction relief.
    3. Appoint a Padilla lawyer to review cases with potential immigration consequences and to make sure individuals are not being funneled into ICE.
    4. Consider the immigration penalties of a conviction during a plea bargain and sentencing recommendations. Prosecutors should seek creative, immigration-neutral pleas when prosecuting immigrants.
  2. Sheriffs also play a critical role in protecting immigrant communities. Sheriffs should adopt a platform that prioritizes keeping all families together, and building trust in immigrant communities to help solve crimes. That’s why we demand sheriff candidates:
    1. Not voluntarily honoring or enforcing ICE detainers or civil warrants.
    2. Not voluntarily enroll office or deputies in ICE programs that authorize local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration enforcement, such as 287(g), Warrant Service Officer (WSO), or Basic Ordering Agreement (BOA).
    3. End any 287g contract, and if required to cooperate with ICE via state law, adopt a program that eliminates any deputization of local law enforcement as ICE agents.
    4. Deprioritize and/or decriminalize driving without a license and honor Community or Municipal IDs issued by local governments as a form of valid identification
    5. Support statewide legislation expanding drivers license access to undocumented Floridians
    6. Certify U and T visas that allow crime victims and their families to remain in the US
    7. Prohibit both jail personnel and deputies from sharing information with ICE beyond what is required by federal or state law.

Transparency & Accountability

State Attorneys and Sheriffs have an immense amount of power but no mechanisms for oversight or accountability. This often results in them wielding their power to aggressively target Black and Brown communities unchecked. We need a State Attorney & Sheriff that will:

State Attorneys and Sheriffs have an immense amount of power but no mechanisms for oversight or accountability. This often results in them wielding their power to aggressively target Black and Brown communities unchecked. We need a State Attorney & Sheriff that will:

  • Transparently bi-annually report on the affairs of their office via a public online portal.
  • Meet regularly with a community accountability board to stay grounded on the impact that their work has on the communities they serve.
  • Develop a No Call List – This is a list of known bad actors, or police who have been found guilty of misconduct who cannot testify in court.
  • Advocate for investigations into law enforcement misconduct by an independent prosecutor without relying solely on evidence produced by and the accounts of the Chiefs of Police or Sheriff’s internal investigations.
  • Treat families of police brutality as survivors – Facilitate access to the Victim Compensation Board for families who have lost loved ones due to law enforcement use of lethal force and allocate financial support for surviving children

Expand Democracy

The Passage of Amendment 4 in 2018 expanded voting rights eligibility to more than 1.4 million formerly incarcerated returning citizens across the state of Florida. However the state legislature has suppressed the will of Florida’s voters by requiring the payment of court Fines and Fees before a returning citizen can register to vote. We need a State Attorney who will enthusiastically support measures that ensure access to the ballot for returning citizens by eliminating and waiving court processing fees.

State Attorney & Sheriff Locator

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Join us for conversations with State Attorney and Sheriff candidates in counties across the state to discuss the response to COVID-19, police accountability, the school-to-prison pipeline, and decarceration.



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