DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW                                      meet the identified needs of juveniles and families      prevention, individual, group and family counseling,
                                                         within their local communities.                          and temporary residential services.
The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice was
created by the Juvenile Justice Act of 1994. The
                                                         Florida Business Partners of Juvenile Justice Inc. –     Civil Citation is an option for law enforcement to
secretary of the department is appointed by the
                                                         The mission of the Florida Business Partners of          divert from the formal juvenile justice system youths
governor and is charged with planning and managing
                                                         Juvenile Justice Inc. organization is to encourage       committing minor offenses.         Law enforcement
all programs and services in the juvenile justice
                                                         and cultivate the involvement of Florida businesses      officials may issue a citation as an alternative to
                                                         and their employees in juvenile justice issues at the    taking youths into custody.          Youths perform
                                                         state and local levels. The organization focuses its     community service hours.
The juvenile justice system begins in communities
                                                         efforts on the creation, promotion and support
with prevention programs designed to help keep
                                                         quality initiatives designed to prevent young people     Delinquency Prevention Grant Programs consist of
youths from becoming involved in criminal behavior.
                                                         from engaging in behaviors and activities, which lead    community-based and family-based programs serving
Once a youth commits a delinquent act, sanctions
                                                         to their entry into the criminal justice system.         more than 40,000 youth annually. On average, less
such as early intervention, diversion, and
                                                                                                                  than 10 percent of these youth are referred for
commitment programs provide consequences and
                                                         Faith Community Network – The Department of              delinquency within six months of completing a
redirect youths from criminal behavior. As a final
                                                         Juvenile Justice supports faith-based organizations      program.
component of the system, aftercare programs are
                                                         in their efforts to develop, maintain and implement
designed to help youths successfully return to
                                                         programs designed to meet the needs of youths and        Targeting is a major component to our programs.
society. All of these programs work together to
                                                         their families. The Network also works to establish      Target the right youth – Delinquency prevention
provide a series of services and opportunities for
                                                         positive, proactive relationships with faith leaders,    programs should focus their efforts on those youth
youths to change their behavior and make positive
                                                         encouraging their involvement in the juvenile justice    most likely to become chronic juvenile offenders.
life choices.
                                                         system.      This includes recruitment of faith          Target the right communities – Delinquency
                                                         community volunteers to work with youths, both at-       prevention programs focus their efforts on those
                                                         risk and delinquent.                                     communities where the most youth are referred for
Services to juveniles are provided within 20 circuits,
                                                                                                                  delinquency charges. Targeting funding to research-
each headed by a chief probation officer who is
                                                         Volunteers, Interns & Mentors – Volunteers serve as      based programs – The Department will fund programs
responsible for developing coordinated and
                                                         mentors or role models for youths; organize sports or    that have been proven to significantly help prevent
comprehensive services. The department operates a
                                                         recreational activities; teach art, drama, or music      and reduce juvenile crime and the risk factors that
number of programs; however, it contracts with
                                                         classes; assist with religious programming; and offer    contribute to delinquency.
private providers to operate the majority of
                                                         advice on job preparation and employment
residential    and    non-residential    commitment
                                                         opportunities. Interns earn college credits in the       Delinquency Prevention Grants focus on staying in
programs located in each Circuit. Circuit staffs work
                                                         fields of juvenile justice, social work, and child and   school, getting a job, keeping busy and living
closely with local community partners to identify
                                                         family sciences by working in the department’s           violence free. Currently, the Office of Prevention
and provide programs and services.
                                                         programs or with service providers.                      and Victim Services is funding over 120 grants.
                                                         PREVENTION                                               Neighborhood Accountability Boards recognize that
Partnerships are created at all levels, Providing
                                                         Prevention and early intervention of delinquency is      crime causes injury to people and communities, and
public participation in the decision-making process
                                                         the first step toward a safer community. The             that the victim and the community need to
with input from civic organizations, schools, law
                                                         department provides a number of services designed        participate   in    the    accountability process.
enforcement, the judiciary, state and local
                                                         to prevent youths from entering the juvenile justice     Community volunteers are trained to review
government,     faith    communities,    businesses,
                                                         system, such as after-school tutoring and life skills    information from the victim and the youth for the
community leaders, parents and youths.
                                                         programs. The department also oversees several           purpose of building sanctions that the community
                                                         state and federal grant programs that fund               finds to “fit the crime” and then monitors
Juvenile Justice Boards and Councils – The Florida
                                                         community-based prevention and early intervention        completion of those sanctions.
Legislature established circuit juvenile justice
boards and authorized juvenile justice councils at
                                                                                                                  PACE Center for Girls, Inc. focuses on quality,
the county level.     Each county council selects
                                                         CINS/FINS – Children-In-Need-of-Services and             gender-responsive, school-based programs for at-risk
representatives to serve on the circuit board. The
                                                         Families-In-Need-of-Services     is  a    prevention     girls that produce life-changing opportunities. PACE
boards and councils serve as advisors to the
                                                         program that assists families when youths exhibit at-    is a leader in recognizing that to be effective with
Department of Juvenile Justice and work closely
                                                         risk behavior, such as running away, truancy, or         girls, prevention programming needs to be truly
with the Juvenile Justice Community Relations and
                                                         ungovernability. The department contracts with           gender specific. Since its conception, PACE has
Information Sharing Program (JJCRISP) Coordinators,
                                                         private agencies throughout Florida to operate           expanded to 19 direct care and 2 outreach locations
the Delinquency Prevention Specialist and other
                                                         runaway shelters and to provide CINS/FINS services       throughout the state of Florida.
community stakeholders to develop services that
                                                         24 hours a day. Services include outreach and
PACE’s secret to success is to truly understand the
relationship between victimization and female
                                                         center or facility pending adjudication, disposition,
                                                         or placement.                                                 Florida Department of
juvenile crime, creating a safe, nurturing
environment for these girls to share their stories and   Home Detention is applies when youths are released
                                                                                                                          Juvenile Justice
begin the healing process. The philosophy of PACE is     to the custody of parents, a guardian, or a custodian         Rick Scott, Governor
to value all girls and young women. Throughout the       in    a    non-restrictive    environment    pending
program a strength-based approach is used, which         adjudication, disposition, or placement.
                                                                                                                     Wansley Walters, Secretary
focuses on the potential of each girl not the poor
choices she may make.                                    COMMITMENT
                                                         Under Florida law, the courts commit youths to a
ENTERING THE JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM                     wide range of programs. There are five categories
A youth enters the juvenile justice system when          of commitment programs and facilities. All but the
taken into custody by law enforcement and charged        minimum risk level involves removal of the youth
with a delinquent act.                                   from his home and community and placement in a
                                                         residential facility.    Examples of commitment
Juvenile Assessment Centers (JACs) are central           programs include: day treatment, family group
intake and screening units for youths referred to the    homes, wilderness programs, boot camps, halfway
department for a law violation. The JAC is the           houses, intensive vocational work programs, serious
front-line partnership with local law enforcement,       habitual offender programs, and sex offender
school system personnel, substance abuse treatment       programs. Juvenile correctional facilities are for the
programs, mental health providers, court personnel,      most serious, chronic and violent juvenile offenders.
and other entities to meet the needs of delinquent
youths. JACs provide a uniform point of entry into       AFTER RELEASE FROM COMMITMENT
the juvenile justice system.        However, each        The services provided after a youth has been
assessment center is designed with the specific          incarcerated are a vital component in the successful
needs of the local community in mind.                    transition of youths from commitment programs to
                                                         the community. Services include referrals to local
PROBATION & COMMUNITY INTERVENTION Juvenile              agencies for substance abuse and mental health
Probation Officers are department staff in each          treatment, individual and family counseling, victim
community assigned to two major functions: initial       restitution, and community service.
screening and assessment and supervision of those
youth ordered by the court to Probation. The tasks       SPECIALIZED SERVICES
assigned to Juvenile Probation Officers include          Specialized services are generally provided in
assessing a youth for a risk and need classifications,   conjunction with existing programs or facilities –
identifying the strengths of the youth and his or her    from prevention to aftercare. Some of the types of
family, preparing predisposition reports based upon      specialized programs or services are described
the assessment for the court, making service             below.
referrals, monitoring the youth’s progress and
sanctions, and supervising the youth at home, in         Mental Health and Substance Abuse are specialized                            VISION
school and in the community.          The Probation      services provided at every stage of the juvenile         The children and families of Florida will live in
branch is also responsible for providing aftercare       justice system for those youths with identified
                                                                                                                   safe, nurturing communities that provide for
supervision for a youth re-entering the community        needs. These services and counseling programs are
from a residential facility.                             available in various settings.                             their needs, recognize their strengths and
                                                                                                                               support their success.
DETENTION                                                Girls Programming is provided in response to the
Detention is the placement of a youth in the             rising rate of females entering the juvenile justice                        MISSION
department’s care, custody and control while             system. The department has increased efforts to
                                                                                                                   To increase public safety by reducing juvenile
awaiting court action or placement in a commitment       provide specialized programs and services to address
program. Youths must meet statutory criteria to be       some of the unique needs facing girls in juvenile           delinquency through effective prevention,
placed in detention care. Detention is classified as     justice facilities.   Additionally, the department           intervention and treatment services that
secure, non-secure, or home detention.                   provides training and technical assistance to staff      strengthen families and turn around the lives of
                                                         and providers to better understand the needs of                           troubled youth.
Secure Detention is the temporary custody of             girls.
youths within the physical restrictions of a detention                                                                      http://www.djj.state.fl.us

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