Several advocacy groups have decided to drop a federal lawsuit and pay more than $210,000 in legal costs to the Florida Department of Corrections, which the groups alleged had engaged in cruel and inhumane solitary confinement practices. 

The Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Legal Services and the Florida Justice Institute last month agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled in the future. The potential class action filed in 2019 alleged about 10,000 inmates in the Florida system were being housed in solitary conditions that violated constitutional standards.

The state’s Department of Corrections secretary emphasized that corrections professionals are in a better position than advocacy groups to make important decisions about how to confine violent offenders. He also characterized the ideologies of activist groups as distorted and not accurate.