2017 to 2019

Committed to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions.





Archived Articles

FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from April 2017 to December 2019.

Archived Articles

FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from April 2017 to December 2019.

Archived Articles

FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from April 2017 to December 2019.

30 Felons (Returning Citizens) Get Early Christmas Gift: Voting Rights Restored

December 25, 2019 – Thirty Hillsborough County residents received the Christmas gift they had hoped for since the November 2018 general election — the restoration of their right to cast their ballot in an election.

Valencia Grad Angel Sanchez Continues to Break Barriers

December 19, 2019 – When Angel Sanchez graduated from Valencia College in 2014 – and led his fellow graduates in a rousing chant of “we don’t settle, we succeed,” at the conclusion of his commencement speech – people at Valencia knew he was going places.

Ex-Felons (Returning Citizens) To Get Financial Help To Vote

December 17, 2019 – The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office is starting a program aimed at giving convicted felons (Returning Citizens) back their right to vote. And it revolves around money.

Some ex-felons (Returning Citizens) in Florida still struggling to have voting rights restored -- here’s why

November 24, 2019 – Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4 last year with the intention of automatically restoring voting rights to most felons (Returning Citizens) who have served their time, but how it works remains cloudy.

TIME 100: The Most Influential People of 2019—Desmond Meade

November 13, 2019 – Check the box and you lose the ability to secure a job, rent an apartment or get a loan. The formerly incarcerated—returning citizens—often face a cruel irony in America.


John Legend Lends Support as Florida Felons (Returning Citizens) Get Vote Rights

November 8, 2019 – Singer John Legend was on hand to lend support Friday as 18 former felons (Returning Citizens) were granted the right to vote in what Miami officials called a simple and streamlined process.

Ex-felons (Returning Citizens) vote in Florida after overcoming prison — and the GOP

November 2, 2019 – Desmond Meade can’t vote in Orlando’s mayoral contest. But he’ll be in the city on Saturday anyway, cheering as hundreds of recently re-enfranchised ex-felons (Returning Citizens) and their families head to the polls together.

Bus Tour Out To Spread Word About Felons' (Returning Citizen's) Voting Rights

November 2, 2019 – Several convicted felons (Returning Citizens) voted for the first time Saturday in Orange County, in the first election season since Amendment Four passed.

DeSantis: Non-violent felons (Returning Citizens) should get more than just voting rights restored

October 22, 2019 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he’s willing to use his powers as governor to grant potentially tens of thousands of nonviolent felons the ability to serve on juries and run for office.

Tarra Simmons Looks To Become 1st Former Inmate Elected To Washington Legislature

October 21, 2019 – A Washington attorney and criminal justice reform advocate who previously served time in prison is seeking to become the first formerly incarcerated person elected to the Washington Legislature, at least in modern times.

Desmond Meade Made History but Housing Was Still Out of Reach

October 14, 2019 – Desmond Meade succeeded in building a movement to restore voting rights to 1.4 million U.S. citizens in Florida. Until recently, he faced a barrier securing housing.

Community groups gathering to help former felons (Returning Citizens) restore voting rights

September 6, 2019 – Ten months after Amendment 4 was passed in the 2018 Florida election, voting rights that were supposed to be restored to 1.4 million Floridians formerly convicted of a felony who lost their right to vote but served the entirety of their sentences (with the exception of people convicted of murder or felony sex crimes) still have not been for some.

Amendment 4 Law On Ex-Felon (Returning Citizen) Voting Rights Brings Confusion. Here’s What It Says And Means.

July 3, 2019 – A war of words has broken out over the Amendment 4 bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Ron DeSantis, which requires former felons (Returning Citizens) to pay off all fines and fees included as part of their sentence before their right to vote is restored.

How One Voice Changed Florida's Political Calculus

April 2019 – What’s the hardest thing you have ever done in life? What do you name among your greatest accomplishments? How will you be remembered after you’re gone? To each of us, life has dealt a different set of circumstances that have shaped us to become who we are and have influenced our drive and passions.

Pictures: Central Floridian of the Year Desmond Meade

March 28, 2019 – Orlando lawyer Desmond Meade, for his successful efforts to pass Amendment 4 last November, was named the Orlando Sentinel’s 2018 Central Floridian of the Year.

Central Floridian of the Year finalist: Desmond Meade

February 5, 2019 – Desmond Meade is a finalist for the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Floridian of the Year. Meade is the leader of the Amendment 4 movement which granted voting rights back to ex-felons (Returning Citizens).

Former Prisoners Become Attorneys: From Breaking the Law to Practicing Law

February 4, 2019 – “A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client,” the old adage goes. But Isaac Wright, Jr. knew he was innocent, so he represented himself at his 1991 trial on charges under New Jersey’s “drug kingpin” law. Unsurprisingly, he was convicted and sentenced to life for running one of New York City’s largest narcotics distribution networks.

1 Million Floridians Convicted Of Felonies Now Have Right To Vote

January 8, 2019 – Following approval of Amendment 4 by a 64 percent majority of Florida voters during midterm elections, Floridians convicted of felonies now have the right to vote. The new state law takes effect Tuesday, Jan. 8, restoring voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people who fulfilled their sentences following a felony conviction.

Fighting for a second chance

October 31, 2018 – Angel Sanchez had no time for lunch, much less another interview. The second-year student in the University of Miami School of Law already had so much on tap, including writing an essay on prison for the Harvard Law Review and teaching a high school law class, that he was skipping his own classes and duties at Miami Law’s Innocence Clinic. 

Election 2018: Will Florida Let 1.4M U.S. Citizens Vote in Democracy?

October 23, 2018 – In Florida, returning citizens – or those with felony convictions – are leading a movement by asking: If we’ve paid our debt to society, why are we denied the right to vote? Amendment 4, which is on the November ballot, is capturing nationwide attention.

Desmond Meade Spent Three Years in Prison—Now He Wants His Voting Rights Back

October 18, 2018 – Desmond Meade wants his voting rights back. Almost two decades ago, Meade spent three years in prison after a drug charge conviction. 

Desmond Meade Hopes to Win Voting Rights for 1.4M Floridians with Felony Convictions—Including Himself

October 16, 2018 – Voters in Florida are preparing to vote on a measure that would restore voting rights to 1.4 million people with nonviolent felonies who have fully completed their sentences. 

The Power of Second Chances: Neil Volz’s Story

October 12, 2018 – Neil was a Washington, DC, insider, a chief of staff for a powerful congressperson, a staff director for a congressional committee, a force to be reckoned with in conservative DC circles. 

Ángel Sánchez: "Who I am hasn't changed, what changed is my environment and the things I value."

October 9, 2018 – From a ‘super predator’ in the 1990s to a top scholar in 2018, it is hard to imagine a more deserving case for Amendment Four. 

Will Florida’s Ex-Felons (Returning Citizens) Finally Regain the Right to Vote?

September 26, 2018 – Twenty-five years ago, when he was a sophomore at Ohio State, Neil Volz started volunteering for his state senator, Bob Ney. 

Convicted felon (Returning Citizen) advocates for restoration of civil rights

May 23, 2018 – Should convicted felons’ civil rights be restored? Neil Volz, of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition was convicted of conspiracy as part of the Jack Ambramoff lobbying scandal more than a decade ago. 

Florida, ban the box: Promise fair employment for all

April 25, 2020 – Finding work is a nerve-wracking process for any job hopeful. For fifteen percent of Floridians, one question and its accompanying checkbox make applications significantly more daunting. “Have you been convicted by a court?” This question perpetuates inequality and provides a discriminatory loophole to employers.

Millions of ex-cons (Returning Citizens) lost their right to vote. Now they might get it back.

January 28, 2018 – When Desmond Meade’s wife ran for a seat in Florida’s State House in the 2016 election, he knocked on doors and helped her campaign. 

UCF grad: From street gang to law school

August 11, 2017 – When UCF graduate Angel Sanchez starts law school in Miami this week, it will be a strange sort of homecoming. 

The US Disenfranchises People Unlike Any Other Country, This Guy Is Proof

April 13, 2017 – What kind of a democracy works so hard to keep its citizens from voting? The US Democracy.