Steve Silverman

Steve Silverman is the founder and executive director of Flex Your Rights (Flex).

In his formative years, Silverman did back-to-back internships with the Cato Institute and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. There he became sensitized to the twin evils of overcriminalization and overincarceration in the United States.

Silverman then worked for the national campus effort to repeal a federal law cutting college financial aid to students with drug convictions. As part of this grassroots work, he discovered that the vast majority of people misunderstand the basic rules of police search and seizure and due process of law.

Moreover, the United States is the world’s “jailingest” nation. So for individuals who don’t know their rights — particularly those living in low income and minority communities — the costs are terrible. Consequently, citizens who get tricked or intimidated into waiving their constitutional rights don’t realize the legal damage they’ve done to themselves until long after their police encounter is over.

Frustrated by the lack of accessible know-your-rights information, Silverman sought to build a new civil liberties organization laser-focused on improving the constitutional literacy of all Americans.

To this end, he created the immensely-popular educational movies, BUSTED: The Citizen’s Guide to Surviving Police Encounters and 10 Rules for Dealing with Police. In addition to self-distributing 40 thousand DVDs, the Flex YouTube channel has reached 42 million views.

Flex DVDs are regularly screened in hundreds of college and high school classrooms and embraced by an array of professional and civic groups — including police instructors, community activists, lawyers, and concerned parents.

You can email Steve at [email protected].