The Office of Civil Rights was created in 1992. The Office is empowered to enforce civil rights laws on behalf of the State of Florida through litigation, education, outreach and legislative proposals. Issues addressed by the Office in recent years include disability rights, mortgage lending and other types of economic discrimination. In addition, action was taken on matters involving discrimination in place of public accommodations, racial profiling and elder exploitation.
The Office works with the Florida Commission on Human Relations and other housing advocacy groups to enforce the provisions of the Florida Fair Housing Act. For nearly a decade, the Office has conducted hate crime training for law enforcement officers throughout the state and prepared the State’s Annual Hate Crime Report. The Office has developed hate crimes training programs for presentation at the elementary, middle and high school levels. The programs are designed to teach students how to recognize hate crimes, to explain what the laws are that protect victims of hate crimes, and to show how such crimes affect their community.