GOLD2023

Florida Justice Center, Inc.

Helping people overcome barriers caused by the criminal legal system.

aka Florida Bail Fund   |   Fort Lauderdale, FL   |  https://www.fljc.org

Mission

To empower individuals by providing legal support, community education, and removing barriers to success caused by the criminal justice system.

Ruling year info

2019

Executive Director

Jonathan Bleiweiss

Main address

2598 E Sunrise Blvd Suite 2104

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Broward LAW Inc

EIN

83-3734928

NTEE code info

Legal Services (I80)

Community Mental Health Center (F32)

Rehabilitation Services for Offenders (I40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Florida Justice Center addresses the needs of those negatively affected by the justice system and provides them legal support to overcome many of their barriers to success. People that are justice-involved (those that have been arrested and/or imprisoned), lose many rights, have decreased earning potential, less employment opportunities, and barriers to housing.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Sealing and Expungement

An arrest remains on someone's record for their entire life. It doesn't matter if the police made a mistake and arrested the wrong person, they were proven innocent in court, or the charges were dismissed. The only way to remove an arrest is through a process called sealing and expungement. This can be confusing for an individual, and expensive to hire an attorney. We assist thousands of people each year with this process to help them get a fresh start and improved housing, employment, and income opportunities.

We also specialize in sealing and expungement for survivors of human trafficking.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ex-offenders
Veterans
Ethnic and racial groups
Offenders

Being on probation is the largest indicator of being rearrested. This is because terms of supervision are so strict. In Florida, nearly 1/3 of imprisoned people are there for a technical violation such as being too poor to pay fines and fees.

Florida Justice Center helps those on probation by preparing and filing paperwork, and going to court to represent individuals, for early termination of probation and modification of terms of supervision. Early termination services are offered at 50% of the sentence. Modification of supervision includes, but is not limited to, travel permits, change in supervision status (such as administrative probation or getting off community control/house arrest), and petitioning the court for community service in lieu of fines, fees, and court costs.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Ex-offenders
Offenders
Veterans
Ethnic and racial groups

Applying for clemency is a lengthy and confusing process. There are many types of clemency that can restore a variety of different rights. Florida Justice Center navigates this process and files all paperwork on behalf of our clients.

Some types of clemency are:
- Voting rights restoration evaluation for people with felony convictions
- Automatic clemency - which restores the right to obtain professional licensure, run for public office, and serve on a jury.
- Firearms rights restoration
- Remission of fines and fees

Population(s) Served
Ex-offenders
Offenders
Veterans
Ethnic and racial groups

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of people no longer living in unsafe or substandard housing as a result of the nonprofit's efforts

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Sealing and Expungement

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of clients assisted with legal needs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Florida Justice Center seeks to end the cycle of incarceration by empowering people with involvement in the criminal legal system with legal support to overcome systemic barriers to success.
2. FLJC seeks to increase access to justice in underserved areas by hosting community legal and social service events.
3. FLJC seeks to increase earning potential, employability, and housing options for people with justice-involvement.
4. FLJC partners with community organizations to provide a holistic continuum-of-care to address legal and social service needs of clients.

1. Conduct outreach in low-income communities, particularly those most disproportionately affected by biases in the criminal justice system.
2. Utilize staff attorneys to provide high-quality legal advice and services to those who cannot afford regular access to justice.
3. Create partnerships with social service and other legal aid organizations to address the underlying issues that led to initial involvement with the criminal legal system and break down barriers to success.
4. Utilize feedback loops and constant process improvement to streamline and automate operations to the greatest extent possible.
5. Educate the public and stakeholders on issues affecting people formerly incarcerated people through resource guides, toolkits, learning management systems, webinars, meetings, and other means.
6. Build and join reentry task forces and coalitions that amplify member organizations' ability to provide services, conduct community outreach, and form continuums-of-care.

Florida Justice Center is able to help thousands of people each year with a small staff due to process improvement as a cornerstone of operational policy. FLJC is able to provide intake and assessment on the spot at community events or within 48 hours for those that apply for services online. Staff are well trained in all legal services provided by FLJC to the extent that they are able to conduct training sessions for lawyers, law students, and the community. Florida Justice Center is a scalable business that can easily grow or shrink based on funding.

Florida Justice Center was formed in 2019 and has grown from 153 clients in 2020 to 2,650 in 2021, and over 5,000 in 2022. In a few short years, FLJC has cemented itself as a lead organization in Florida for voting rights restoration, sealing and expungement, and mitigating the effects of criminal legal system involvement. FLJC attorneys regularly appear on television news programs and in newspaper articles to speak about legal topics. FLJC has excelled at building racial equity with over 72% of its clients self-identifying as Black or African-American. Florida Justice Center is a member of the Palm Beach Reentry Task Force and a founding member of the Umbrella of Hope Coalition, a reentry task force in Miami-Dade County.

In 2023, Florida Justice Center is looking to expand veteran services and to provide full civil legal services beyond its current offering.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Florida Justice Center, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Florida Justice Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 06/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Marie Torossian

Marie Torossian, CPA

Term: 2021 - 2022

Karl Vinola

New York Life Insurance

Jonathan Bleiweiss

Florida Justice Center

Marie Torossian

Marie Torossian, CPA

Melba Pearson

Florida International University

TerryAnn Howell

Law Offices of TerryAnn Howell, Esq.

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/10/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/11/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.