News & Events

Upcoming Human Trafficking Webinars

Aug 31, 2018

The National Criminal Justice Training Center is offering two exciting webinars about prosecuting traffickers this September: Prosecuting Sex Traffickers: Strategies for Witnesses in Child Sex trafficking and Exploitation Cases, and Prosecuting Sex Traffickers: Trial Preparation.

 

Prosecuting Sex Traffickers: Strategies for Witnesses in Child Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Cases

Thu, Sep 13, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM EDT

This webinar is designed to assist prosecutors and investigators who are preparing child sex trafficking cases for trial. We will discuss dealing with these complicated witnesses, including issues of delayed disclosure and complicity. Working with victims, witnesses, and accomplices requires an understanding of the recovery process and bridging gaps with people who have little trust for law enforcement or the prosecution process.

Registration Link

 

Prosecuting Sex Traffickers: Trial Preparation

Thu, Sep 20, 2018 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM EDT

This webinar is designed to assist prosecutors and investigators who are preparing child sex trafficking cases for trial. We will discuss preparing a case for trial, charging decisions, expert witnesses, and defense strategies. Trafficking cases require thorough case preparation of complex evidence. Analyzing potential charges early in the case allows for the collection of evidence and the consideration of what witnesses are required. Expert witnesses are necessary to help the jury understand both pimp subculture and victim issues. Anticipating defense strategies helps prosecutors stay focused on their case to achieve a successful prosecution.

Registration Link

For questions, contact:

(877) 712-6237 

askamber@fvtc.edu

 



Timothy Niermann Named Interim Secretary of Department of Juvenile Justice

Aug 29, 2018

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced Timothy Niermann will become the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice on an interim basis.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2018

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com

Timothy Niermann Named Interim Secretary of Department of Juvenile Justice

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced Timothy Niermann will become the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice on an interim basis. He will be replacing Secretary Christina Daly who is leaving the agency effective August 31, 2018, after serving at DJJ since 2006.

Governor Scott said, “I am proud to announce that Timothy Niermann will become the interim secretary at DJJ. I am confident that he will continue to faithfully serve the families and youths that DJJ works to protect every day.”

Since December 2015, Timothy has served as the deputy secretary of DJJ. Previously, he served as Assistant Secretary for Probation & Intervention Services, the DJJ Central Regional Director for Probation & Community Intervention, and from 2000 to 2010, he served as the DJJ Chief Probation Officer (CPO) for Circuit 6, serving Pasco and Pinellas counties. Mr. Niermann is a 40-year veteran of Florida State government and his expertise covers operational oversight of juvenile justice programming. He is a graduate of the University of South Florida in the field of Criminal Justice.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2018

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com



Fill the Closet

Aug 13, 2018

DJJ is participating in the 2018 Fill The Closet supply drive hosted by the Big Bend Coalition Against Human Trafficking. BBCAHT is collecting personal care items and art supplies to stock their resource closet and art therapy program. The items will assist victims of human trafficking in the Big Bend area. Volunteers are also needed to package the items on Saturday, August 18th, 2018.

 

Fill The Closet: Donations and volunteers needed 

Contact:

Mindy Conney

mindyconney@flhsmv.gov

 

Event Date:

August 18th, 2018

9AM-12PM

Location:

GOOD SHEPHERD CATHOLIC CHURCH
4665 THOMASVILLE RD, TALLAHASSEE, FL
32309



End Human Trafficking Event

Aug 08, 2018

The USF​ College of Public Health in collaboration with The FREE Network, Lutheran Services Florida​, the Disaster and Humanitarian Relief (DAHR) Student Collaborative, and the USF Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships (OCEP) presents ​our bi-annual "​End Human Trafficking: Community Conversations" World Café will focus on labor trafficking here in Tampa Bay​. This event will ​first ​start with a panel on a whole community approach for looking at anti-human trafficking efforts that are currently taking place in regards labor trafficking. Following our ​panel ​discussion, we will have three facilitated breakout sessions where community ​leaders, professionals, survivors​, academics, and students​ can come together to​ strategize​ on action steps to identify prevention and intervention strategies that encourage innovation and collaboration to protect some of our most vulnerable populations. This event is free and open to the public.

 

#End Trafficking: A Community Conversation About Labor  Trafficking in Tampa Bay

 

Contact:

USF Marshall Student Center and Department of Global Health

Registration Link

Event Date:

September 7th, 2018

12:30PM - 5PM



Location:

Phyllis P. Marshall Student Center
Room 2708
4103 Cedar Circle
Tampa, FL 33620

Free for all to attend



Sex Trafficking in Florida's Schools

Aug 07, 2018

If you are a School Resource Officer, District or School Administrator, Teacher, Athletic Coach or other School Personnel; Case Manager, GAL, or Child Protective Investigator, you do not want to miss this! Learn how to identify exploited teens and perpetrators, safely intervene without further traumatizing or embarrassing the victim, about school specific prevention and intervention programs, and how to connect abused students with appropriate support services.

Registration Flyer as an image

 

Sex Trafficking in Florida's Schools 

Contact:

St. Petersburg College 

Registration Link

 

Event Date:

September 14th, 2018

 

8AM - 5PM

 

 

Location:

Hillsborough Community College
Dale Mabry Campus Auditorium
4001 W Tampa Bay Boulevard
Tampa, FL 33614

Free for all to attend



2018 Restoring Hope Training

Jul 22, 2018

 

Contact:

Andy Hindman
 
Andy.Hindman@djj.state.fl.us 




Event Date:

October 29th-31st, 2018



Location:

The Florida Hotel & Conference Center
1500 Sand Lake Road
Orlando, FL 32809



2018 Human Trafficking Summit

Jul 22, 2018

Statewide conference on preventing labor and sex trafficking of children and adults. Breakout sessions will include recent updates and developments in the areas of legal/law enforcement, service delivery, policy and research, and medical/healthcare.

HT Summit

  

Registration Link

 

Event Date:

Monday October 1st, 2018

8:15AM- 5:00PM

 

 

Location:

Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld
6677 Sea Harbor Drive
Orlando, FL 32821

Free for all to attend



Human Trafficking Investigations and Prosecutions Training Course

Jul 22, 2018

This training will explore Human Trafficking investigations and prosecutions, the victim’s perspective, resources and best practices for response. This 8-hour course is designed to meet the immediate training needs of any law enforcement officer, evidence technician, social service agency and responder personnel who responds to incidents related to Human Trafficking.

 

Contact:

Khalilah M. Escalera 

813-274-6151

Khalilah.Escalera@usdoj.gov

 

Registration Link

 

Event Date:

Tuesday August 24th, 2018

9AM- 4PM

 

Location:

Florida Gateway College
Wilson S. Rivers Library and Media Center
149 SE College Place
Bldg. 200 (Room 102)
Lake City, FL 32025

Free for all to attend



Circuit 18 Human Trafficking Symposium

Jul 22, 2018

Human Trafficking workshop in Cocoa on Thursday August 9th, 2018. Includes guest speakers, survivor stories, and human trafficking information. Breakout sessions for law enforcement, medical professionals, and the general public.

Contact:

Rob Medina

321-632-1776

Rob.medina@mail.house.gov

 

Registration Link

 

Event Date:

Thursday August 9th, 2018

7:30AM- 12:00PM

 

Location:

Bernie Simpkins Auditorium
1519 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, Florida 32922

Free for all to attend



Salon Talk - A Free Workshop on Human Trafficking

Jun 14, 2018

Human Trafficking workshop in St. Petersburg on Monday July 16th, 2018. Includes guest speakers, survivor stories, and human trafficking information.

 

Contact:

Kaleena Otero  

727-344-8069

 

Registration Link

 

Event Date:

Monday, July 16th, 2018

10AM-2PM

 

Location:

St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus Conference Center
9200 – 113th Street, North in Seminole

Free for all to attend, lunch is provided.

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Gov. Scott - Juvenile Arrests Drop to Historic 42-Year Low

Feb 22, 2018

Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2016-2017 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.

Gov. Scott: Juvenile Arrests Drop to Historic 42-Year Low

 

 

 

NAPLES, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2016-2017 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Statewide, juvenile arrests dropped another seven percent in the last fiscal year, a five-year decline of 24 percent, and a historic 42-year low in juvenile arrests.  

 

Governor Scott said, “Our state has made significant strides in reforming our juvenile justice system and I am proud to announce today that juvenile arrests have dropped to a historic 42-year low. Today’s announcement would not be possible without Florida’s juvenile detention and probation officers, who work each day to redirect our youth to a successful path. I will be working with the legislature during the upcoming session to pass a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers so we can reward them for their critical work.” 

 

The five counties with the largest populations in Florida continue to show decreases in juvenile arrests over the last fiscal year. The county with the largest drop was Orange County with a 15 percent decrease, followed by Hillsborough County with a 14 percent reduction, Broward County with a seven percent decrease, Miami-Dade County with a seven percent decrease, and Palm Beach County with a four percent decline in juvenile arrests. 

 

DJJ Secretary Christina Daly said, “More than six years ago, DJJ committed to improve Florida’s juvenile justice system through innovative and aggressive reforms. The continued decline in juvenile arrests year after year demonstrates our reform efforts are working. We will continue to work with law enforcement and our community partners to keep even more kids out of the juvenile justice system, provide the very best services for those that do come into our system, and work hard to help steer every youth down the right path.” 

 

The current report, covering a five-year period, shows an overall decline in felony offenses, including a 15 percent decrease in murder/manslaughter arrests and a seven percent decrease in aggravated assault arrests. The report also shows a year-to-year four percent drop statewide in auto theft arrests, including a 19 percent year-to-year decrease in auto theft arrests in the Central Florida region. The report also shows a 14 percent decline in overall misdemeanor arrests. 

 

To view the full report, click HERE.

 

 

 

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DJJ Honors 2018 Youth Ambassadors During Youth Success Day

Jan 23, 2018

Today, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina K. Daly, the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, members of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, legislators, and community partners honored the 2018 DJJ Youth Ambassadors during Youth Success Day at a reception at Floridas Historic Capitol.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

January 23, 2018

 

 

 

CONTACT:

 

DJJ Communications Office

 

news@djj.state.fl.us

 

(850) 921-5900

 

 

 

DJJ Honors 2018 Youth Ambassadors During Youth Success Day

 

Tallahassee, Fla. - Today, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) Secretary Christina K. Daly, the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, members of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, legislators, and community partners honored the 2018 DJJ Youth Ambassadors during Youth Success Day at a reception at Florida’s Historic Capitol.

 

DJJ Youth Ambassadors are youth in the state of Florida who have turned their lives around for the better after contact with the juvenile justice system. These ambassadors serve as mentors and role models for other at-risk kids throughout the state.

 

“The incredible stories of our Youth Ambassadors and how they’ve overcome their challenges serves as a reminder that we must never allow our past to define our future” said DJJ Secretary Christina Daly. “These young people have demonstrated that success isn’t just about what you accomplish in life, but how much you inspire those around you.” 

 

DJJ solicits nominations for the Youth Ambassador Award from providers, community stakeholders and the public at large. Youth Ambassadors received a certificate and Youth Investment Award from the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, which is the direct support organization for DJJ. Youth receiving awards today were:

 

Carlos Leyva: Carlos first became involved with the juvenile justice system at the age of 14 and was later committed to a residential program. In 2016, Carlos completed his program and took the initiative to complete aftercare services with Eckerd Connects Project Bridge to reach his goals. Carlos immediately began career services workshops to gain the skills needed to secure employment. His training proved successful as he was hired at a local restaurant, receiving several promotions along the way. Although Carlos has successfully graduated from Eckerd Connects Project Bridge, he regularly keeps in contact with the team and works with them to further advance his goals. Carlos looks forward to a bright future, which includes securing his own apartment and continuing his education to become a registered nurse.

 

Jazzman Lezama: Jazzman first became involved in the juvenile justice system when she was 15 years old. She was later direct filed and committed to a residential program at the age of 16. Early in life, Jazzman was involved with the foster care system, and then the juvenile justice system. Jazzman has used her past choices and decisions to motivate her to make better ones. Jazzman realized that she had the capacity to give back to the community in more positive ways. This includes being an advocate with a group called Florida Youth SHINE, which works to advocate on behalf of foster youth and child welfare issues at the state and local level. In addition, she is involved with the Palm Beach County Youth Services Department as a member of a youth empowerment group called Future Leaders United for Change. Youth Success Day is a DJJ sponsored event held each year at the Florida Capitol. This is the eighth year that DJJ has recognized Youth Ambassadors during its Youth Success Day. 

 

 

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DJJ Announces Meeting of the 2017 Detention Risk Assessment Instrument Committee Assembly

Dec 05, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 5, 2017

 

DJJ Communications Office

DJJ.News@djj.state.fl.us

(850) 921-5900

DJJ Announces Meeting of the 2017 Detention Risk Assessment Instrument Committee Assembly

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice announced it will convene a meeting of the 2017 Detention Risk Assessment Instrument (DRAI) Committee Assembly. The committee’s authority and membership is outlined in Section 985.245, Florida Statutes, and is tasked with the evaluation and revision of a detention risk assessment instrument for determinations and court orders regarding placement of a child into detention care.

The DRAI Committee will convene to discuss and approve a revised detention risk assessment instrument that improves public safety through accurate and reliable risk-prediction to ensure the appropriate detainment of youth.

The meeting is scheduled to be held December 11-12, 2017 at the Hilton Garden Inn Orlando North/Lake Mary located at 702 Currency Circle, Lake Mary, Florida.

The full agenda for this meeting can be found here.

For additional information on the meeting, please contact Minnie Bishop via email at minnora.bishop@djj.state.fl.us.

 

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Governor Rick Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future Budget Fights to Support At-Risk Youth and Families

Nov 14, 2017

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced his Securing Florida’s Future budget, which invests an additional $42.1 million into Florida’s juvenile justice system for a total of $593.4 million.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

DJJ Communications Office

DJJ.News@djj.state.fl.us

(850) 921-5900

 

Governor Rick Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future Budget Fights to Support At-Risk Youth and Families

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.Today, Governor Rick Scott announced his Securing Florida’s Future budget, which invests an additional $42.1 million into Florida’s juvenile justice system for a total of $593.4 million. This funding will support the continuation of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) reform efforts and its core mission of reducing juvenile delinquency, increasing public safety, and providing the services at-risk youth and their families need in the coming years to transition youth back into their communities and guide them towards successful adulthood.

Governor Scott said, “Florida has made tremendous progress in reforming our juvenile justice system, with our state experiencing the lowest levels of juvenile arrests in more than forty years. The Securing Florida’s Future budget continues to invest in effective programs and services that have been proven to help our youth and their families. I am also proud to recommend a 10 percent pay raise for the recruitment and retention of detention and probation officers, who have the responsibility of working with youth in DJJ care.”

“Governor Rick Scott has remained steadfast in his dedication to transforming Florida’s juvenile justice system, and the Securing Florida’s Future budget demonstrates his unwavering support for providing the best outcomes for youth and for the thousands of dedicated staff who work to better the lives of those we serve,” said DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly. “I want to thank him for his leadership in recognizing the needs of our youth, families and staff, ensuring safer communities and a better Florida for us all.” 

 

Highlights from Governor Scott’s Securing Florida’s Future budget include:

 

$13 million to increase the number of available residential commitment treatment beds to ensure capacity for youth adjudicated to non-secure and secure residential commitment programs. Sufficient residential commitment treatment beds are necessary to ensure youth receive the required treatment to appropriately address their needs without undue delay.

 

$8 million in pay raises for juvenile probation and detention officers to support officer recruitment and retention and to reward these officers for their life changing work in the juvenile justice system.  The State of Florida has more than 2,000 juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers who work around the clock to protect and rehabilitate Florida’s at-risk youth and keep families and communities safe.

 

$9 million to continue and expand evidence-based prevention programs. Effective prevention programs have been a critical component in improving the juvenile justice system in Florida. This funding will improve public safety by providing prevention programming to additional youth while also continuing funding levels for current services.

 

$11.6 million to provide the necessary repairs and maintenance of detention, probation, and residential facilities. This funding will support security improvement and life safety projects, electrical upgrades, and ensure proper compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

$317,150 for the establishment of the Office of Youth and Family Advocacy within the Office of the DJJ Secretary. The Office will serve as a firsthand resource working directly with youth and families to foster communication and amplify their voice in the ongoing improvement of the juvenile justice system. This Office will continue to enhance DJJ’s robust improvement measures and give youth and their families the advocates they need to be successful.

 

What they are saying…

 

Stacy Gromatski, President and CEO of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, said, The Florida Network would like to thank Governor Scott for his continued focus on prevention and early intervention funding in the Securing Florida’s Future budget. Investing in prevention and early intervention programs, which also provide parenting support and skill development services for families, will keep even more children out of the juvenile justice system and on the path to becoming successful young adults.”

Christian Minor, Executive Director of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, said, “Florida’s juvenile justice system serves as a national model for others and Governor Scott’s budget will keep our state at the forefront by providing for prevention, intervention, and residential treatment services. This comprehensive approach will help to effectively reach all youth that come into contact with our system and guide them in the right direction.”

 

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Pinellas County Sheriff said,I applaud Governor Scott for including additional juvenile residential commitment treatment beds in his recommended budget, as well as the funds to ensure we have high quality, experienced staff to serve Florida’s youth and families. This funding demonstrates his commitment to public safety and to strengthening our communities. 

To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit http://www.securingfloridasfuturebudget.com.

 

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In Case You Missed It Miami Herald Despite challenges Floridas juvenile justice system continues to improve

Nov 13, 2017

Recent Herald articles about the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) raise significant concerns about the agencys operation. Unfortunately, they paint an incomplete picture.

In Case You Missed It…

 

Miami Herald: Despite challenges, Florida’s juvenile justice system continues to improve


 

 

Despite challenges, Florida’s juvenile justice system continues to improve

 

By Shay Bilchik

 

Miami Herald

 

November 10, 2017

 

Link: http://hrld.us/2yQbTTn 

 

Recent Herald articles about the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) raise significant concerns about the agency’s operation. Unfortunately, they paint an incomplete picture.

 

Six years ago, DJJ embarked on an effort to strategically transform the way it serves at-risk and delinquent youth. This has been a daunting task filled with challenges, but led by a committed group of policymakers and practitioners, the agency has demonstrated great successes along the way.

 

 

DJJ’s path has not been perfect, but what I know from firsthand contact with that system is that its efforts have been earnest and significant. And while there have been horrible incidents of misconduct by staff, each has been met with an appropriate response by DJJ to address the behavior and ensure that it does not recur. At the same time, DJJ’s leadership has not wavered in its commitment to improve the overall system and how it serves youth, including the prevention of delinquent behavior.

 

 

Indeed, now is the time for Florida’s leadership to build on DJJ's successes and further improve the system by investing in high quality staff, as well as smaller residential placements that are closer to where youth live and can successfully transition back into their communities.

 

 

DJJ is setting the standard for system reform, including its work around screening and assessment, the use of structured decision-making tools, and data analysis which is positively influencing practice across the country. Indeed, tens of thousands of youth are being well served by the Department of each year.

 

Is DJJ perfect in its work? No, but it is far better than the Herald’s reporting reflects.

 

 

SHAY BILCHIK IS RESEARCH PROFESSOR/CENTER DIRECTOR AT THE CENTER FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY’S MCCOURT SCHOOL OF PUBLIC POLICY. HE SERVED FORMERLY AS AN ASSISTANT STATE ATTORNEY IN MIAMI-DADE COUNTY; AND ADMINISTRATOR OF THE OFFICE OF JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION IN THE U. S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE.

 

 

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Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Announces Office of Youth and Family Advocacy

Oct 19, 2017

Today, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced its plan to establish an Office of Youth and Family Advocacy within the Office of the DJJ Secretary.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                      Contact: DJJ Communications Office October 19, 2017                                                                                                          (850) 717-2710

                                                                                                        heather.digiacomo@djj.state.fl.us

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Announces

Office of Youth and Family Advocacy

 

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) announced its plan to establish an Office of Youth and Family Advocacy within the Office of the DJJ Secretary.

The Office will serve as a firsthand resource working directly with youth and families to foster communication and amplify their voice in the ongoing improvement of the juvenile justice system. Youth and families will have an additional avenue to raise concerns and engage with the Department to ensure youth and family needs are addressed. This Office will help enhance robust improvement measures at DJJ and give youth and their families another layer of accountability.

“The Department is committed to the well-being and safety of youth and engaging with families to ensure we are meeting their needs,” said Secretary Christina K. Daly. “The Office of Youth and Family Advocacy will share our vision that all Florida’s children live in safe and nurturing communities that provide for their needs, recognize their strengths and support their success.”   

DJJ continues to evaluate and identify new ways to build on the tremendous progress made with our aggressive and innovative reforms over the past six years. As part of system-wide reform, evidence-based services are provided throughout the delinquency continuum, with research-based services matched to youths’ assessed risks and needs.  The transformation of our juvenile justice system in recent years is producing results:

  • Florida has the lowest juvenile arrest rate in more than 40 years.
  • DJJ has reduced the use of residential commitment for low-moderate risk youth by 60 percent.
  • DJJ has the lowest recidivism for youth on probation that the agency has ever seen.

Over the next several weeks, the Department will begin setting the vision of this newly-created office including identifying the necessary resources to ensure effectiveness. More information will be released in the coming weeks.  

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Setting the Record Straight Miami Herald Omits Facts Ignores Reforms in Series Targeting DJJ

Oct 10, 2017

Today, the Miami Herald published a series of stories about the juvenile justice system in Florida that blatantly neglects to recognize DJJs years of aggressive, innovative reform.

Contact: DJJ Office of Communications

(850) 717-2710

news@djj.state.fl.us

Setting the Record Straight:

 

Miami Herald Omits Facts, Ignores Reforms in Series Targeting DJJ

 

Today, the Miami Herald published a series of stories about the juvenile justice system in Florida that blatantly neglects to recognize DJJ’s years of aggressive, innovative reform efforts and nationally recognized success serving Florida’s youth and communities.

 

 

Secretary Christina K. Daly said, “The stories published by the Miami Herald today do not accurately define the juvenile justice system in Florida or the many partners who are committed to serving youth and their families. Florida’s juvenile justice system is made up of stakeholders, service providers, and most importantly, individuals who care deeply about children and their success. Our agency works each day to continuously improve, and over the past six years, we have implemented aggressive, innovative reforms to build a better system for the thousands of youth who need the guidance our staff and services provide. 

 

 

“DJJ has not, does not and will not ever tolerate or condone mistreatment of children in our care. Staff who are not well intentioned to help transform the lives of our children have no place within this agency. Anyone who is found to have encouraged, enticed, or ordered youth to engage in fights or assault other youth is, and will be, held accountable to the full extent of the law, including criminal prosecution. We consistently work to identify, investigate and hold fully accountable any staff member who does not meet our high standards – both within DJJ facilities and with our contracted providers.

 

 

“Florida is proud to be recognized as a national leader for juvenile justice and to ensure the Department can continue to support high-quality officer recruitment and retention, Governor Rick Scott recently announced a proposed 10 percent pay increase for juvenile detention and probation officers. DJJ will continue to tirelessly work to provide safe and effective services for the youth and families that rely on our agency.”

 

 

First and foremost, the Miami Herald fails to recognize that the transformation of our juvenile justice system in recent years is producing results:

 

  • Florida has the lowest juvenile arrest rate in more than 40 years.
  • DJJ has reduced the use of residential commitment for low-moderate risk youth by 60 percent.
  • DJJ has the lowest recidivism for youth on probation that the agency has ever seen.

 

While DJJ worked for two years in a collaborative and transparent relationship with the Miami Herald on these stories, much of the information provided by the agency was left out, mischaracterized or dismissed without reason.

 

 

DJJ THOROUGHLY INVESTIGATES ANY ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STAFF

 

 

Regardless of whether in state-run detention facilities or privately contracted residential commitment programs, any allegation made regarding the care and safety of youth is thoroughly investigated by the Department to ensure youth are safe and staff are meeting our high standards of care.

 

 

Following the death of Elord Revolte, the Department along with the Public Corruption Unit of the Miami Dade State Attorney’s Office completed extensive investigations into the allegations against staff. Neither of these investigations proved these allegations to be true.

 

 

Anyone who is found to have encouraged, enticed, or ordered youth to engage in fights or assault other youth is, and will be, held accountable to the full extent of the law, including criminal prosecution. It is false and misleading to insinuate that the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice does not take the safety of our youth seriously.

 

 

DJJ has never, and will never, tolerate the outsourcing of discipline by staff to youth. It is the expectation that all staff, contracted or otherwise, treat youth with the respect and dignity they deserve. The Department also reports all allegations of abuse and neglect to the Florida Abuse Hotline to be investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families, and in many cases, law enforcement also investigates incidents of abuse and neglect in detention facilities and residential commitment programs. All staff in both juvenile detention facilities and residential commitment programs have unrestricted access for reporting incidents, without supervisor approval, to the Florida Abuse Hotline and the DJJ Central Communications Center. 

 

 

DJJ evaluates and replaces cameras on an on-going basis as we rely on the critical information provided by security cameras when investigating incidents at our centers and ensuring the safety of the youth placed in our custody.

 

 

In addition to the safeguards provided by incident reporting, security cameras and exhaustive investigations, the Department employs a comprehensive oversight and monitoring process. Youth and staff interviews are conducted as a part of the oversight process as well as review of video, incident reporting and trends related to the use of physical intervention. 

 

 

For more information, click HERE. (pages 1, 2, 3, and 4)

 

 

DJJ MAINTAINS HIGH STANDARDS FOR HIRING PRACTICES

 

 

DJJ takes seriously our obligation to maintain the confidence and trust of the public and ensure we are hiring the most qualified and best-suited applicants to work with Florida’s youth and families.  All direct care staff are required to undergo and pass a level 2 criminal history record check, which outlines the more than 50 disqualifying offenses, in addition to drug screening and a comprehensive interview and reference check process in accordance to Florida law.

 

 

The Department also requires our contracted providers to ensure their staff are meeting our high standards, and we have worked collaboratively with them to improve hiring practices through a statewide initiative.

 

 

Recently, the Department further strengthened our reference check process for individuals with prior state employment experience to ensure a comprehensive and thorough review of a prospective employee’s previous performance and employment as well as ensure staff meet the high expectations of this Department. This is just one of the many reforms implemented over the past six years as we continue to identify new ways to improve our agency.

 

 

Additionally, Governor Rick Scott recently announced that he will propose a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers in his 2018-2019 recommended budget to support high-quality officer recruitment and retention to further improve the life changing work in the juvenile justice system.

 

 

For more information, click HERE. (page 5)

 

 

 

DJJ LEADS THE NATION IN INNOVATIVE REFORMS

 

 

Florida embraced a more rehabilitative approach beginning more than six years ago when DJJ embarked on aggressive reform efforts. A major portion of these reforms have been focused on early interventions and prevention as well as community-based interventions, which provide the best outcomes for our youth.

 

 

It is entirely inaccurate to say that Florida is falling behind other states in rehabilitative juvenile justice reform. In fact, just last month, Florida was recognized by PEW Charitable Trusts for being a national leader in evidence-based programing that has helped to identify and enact programs that lower recidivism rates.

 

 

 

DJJ has the lowest recidivism for youth on probation that the agency has ever seen and the agency is fully committed to further building on reform efforts to continue reducing juvenile delinquency, increasing public safety, and providing the services at-risk youth and their families need to transition youth back into their communities and guide them towards successful adulthood.

 

 

For more information, click HERE. (page 6) 

 

 



In Case You Missed It The PEW Charitable Trusts States Turning to Evidence-Based Policymaking

Oct 09, 2017

The PEW Charitable Trusts recently released a study and article highlighting Floridas juvenile justice system as a national leader in how evidence-based policymaking is helping Floridas children and youth.

In Case You Missed It….

 

The PEW Charitable Trusts: States Turning to Evidence-Based Policymaking to Improve Outcomes for Children and Youth  

 

 

ICYMI – The PEW Charitable Trusts recently released a study and article highlighting Florida’s juvenile justice system as a national leader in how evidence-based policymaking is helping Florida’s children and youth. See below for a statement from DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly and more information on the report.

 

 

“Florida is proud to have a juvenile justice system that serves as a national model for how evidence-based programing can best serve youth and families. Successful youth outcomes and public safety are at the heart of what DJJ does every day, and over the past six years, we have implemented aggressive reforms to help meet these goals. We will continue to champion data and evidence-based programming to ensure we continue to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of the youth in our care and the surrounding communities. ”-DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly

 

 

 

States Turning to Evidence-Based Policymaking to Improve Outcomes for Children and Youth

 

PEW Charitable Trusts

 

September 22, 2017

 

 

 

“Policymakers want to improve outcomes for children and youth but often struggle with how best to allocate limited resources. In recent years, many have turned to evidence-based policymaking—the systematic use of high-quality research in decision-making—to help address this challenge.”

… 

 

But, two states—Florida in juvenile justice and Ohio in child welfare—demonstrate how evidence-based policymaking can help lawmakers make better investments in programs targeting children and youth.”

 

… 

 

“With a mandate to divert youth from the juvenile justice system, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, or DJJ, has for several years championed an evidence-based policymaking approach to improve outcomes for this population. For instance, in 2011, participation in the Juvenile Justice Improvement Project—an initiative to improve youth outcomes—spurred the department to use the nationally recognized Standardized Program Evaluation Protocol to identify how well the state’s juvenile justice programs adhere to key principles of evidence-based interventions. The department also created a supplementary model that compares programs based on how effective they are in reducing recidivism relative to their operating costs. These efforts enabled program providers to identify which programs lower recidivism rates while increasing the return on investment for taxpayers.”

 

 

 

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GOV SCOTT PROPOSING 10 PERCENT PAY RAISE FOR JUVENILE DETENTION AND PROBATION OFFICERS

Oct 02, 2017

Today Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers in his 2018-2019 recommended budget.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2017

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com

 

 

GOV. SCOTT PROPOSING 10% PAY RAISE FOR JUVENILE DETENTION AND PROBATION OFFICERS

 

  

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers in his 2018-2019 recommended budget. The Governor will recommend $8 million in pay raises to support officer recruitment and retention and to reward these officers for their life changing work in the juvenile justice system. The State of Florida has more than 2,000 juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers who work around the clock to protect Florida’s at-risk youth and keep families and communities safe. 

 

Governor Scott said, “Over the past six and a half years, we have taken aggressive steps to reform Florida’s juvenile justice system. Today, I’m proud to announce that as part of my upcoming recommended budget, I will be proposing an $8 million investment for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to use as a 10 percent pay raise for the recruitment and retention of detention and probation officers. 

 

“Florida’s juvenile detention and probation officers have the important responsibility of working with youth in DJJ care, but they also have the unique opportunity to help change lives and redirect our youth to a successful path. I look forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session to pass this 10 percent pay raise, which will ensure DJJ can hire highly qualified and dedicated detention and probation officers to help our youth and keep our communities safe for years to come.” 

 

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina K. Daly said, “I am extremely proud of the thousands of staff who come to work every day to change the lives of the youth and families we serve and the dedication they put forth in ensuring our communities are safer places to live, work and play. Governor Scott’s commitment to making Florida a leader in juvenile justice began on the first day of his administration and continues today, and I cannot thank him enough for his recognition of the importance of dedicating resources for the recruitment and retention of committed, high-quality employees.”  

 

Today’s proposal builds on the Governor’s proposed $30 million investment in pay raises for our state law enforcement agencies to use for officer recruitment and retention, and the pay raises for state law enforcement and correctional officers included in the current year’s budget. The Governor’s entire 2018-2019 recommended budget will be released prior to the beginning of the upcoming legislative session. 

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GOV. SCOTT PROPOSING 10% PAY RAISE FOR JUVENILE DETENTION AND PROBATION OFFICERS

 

  

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that he will propose a 10 percent pay raise for juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers in his 2018-2019 recommended budget. The Governor will recommend $8 million in pay raises to support officer recruitment and retention and to reward these officers for their life changing work in the juvenile justice system. The State of Florida has more than 2,000 juvenile detention and juvenile probation officers who work around the clock to protect Florida’s at-risk youth and keep families and communities safe.

 

 

 

Governor Scott said, “Over the past six and a half years, we have taken aggressive steps to reform Florida’s juvenile justice system. Today, I’m proud to announce that as part of my upcoming recommended budget, I will be proposing an $8 million investment for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to use as a 10 percent pay raise for the recruitment and retention of detention and probation officers.

 

 

 

“Florida’s juvenile detention and probation officers have the important responsibility of working with youth in DJJ care, but they also have the unique opportunity to help change lives and redirect our youth to a successful path. I look forward to working with the Legislature during the upcoming session to pass this 10 percent pay raise, which will ensure DJJ can hire highly qualified and dedicated detention and probation officers to help our youth and keep our communities safe for years to come.”

 

 

 

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina K. Daly said, “I am extremely proud of the thousands of staff who come to work every day to change the lives of the youth and families we serve and the dedication they put forth in ensuring our communities are safer places to live, work and play. Governor Scott’s commitment to making Florida a leader in juvenile justice began on the first day of his administration and continues today, and I cannot thank him enough for his recognition of the importance of dedicating resources for the recruitment and retention of committed, high-quality employees.” 

 

 

 

Today’s proposal builds on the Governor’s proposed $30 million investment in pay raises for our state law enforcement agencies to use for officer recruitment and retention, and the pay raises for state law enforcement and correctional officers included in the current year’s budget. The Governor’s entire 2018-2019 recommended budget will be released prior to the beginning of the upcoming legislative session. 

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2017

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com



Gov. Scott Directs State Offices to be Closed Friday in Preparation for Hurricane Irma

Sep 06, 2017

Today, Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Scott Directs State Offices to be Closed Friday in Preparation for Hurricane Irma

Encourages State Employees to Volunteer in Support of Emergency Shelters

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Prior to Friday’s statewide closures, state office closures will follow the direction of county officials and will be announced as they are determined. The Governor also issued a call to state employees across Florida encouraging them to volunteer in support of the state’s emergency shelter mobilization efforts.


Governor Scott said, “Our state workforce is filled with dedicated individuals who go above and beyond every day in service to the families who call Florida home. Ensuring the safety of these hardworking individuals and their families is a top priority, and I am directing all state offices to be closed this Friday so our state employees can fully focus on preparing for this storm and keeping their families safe. I am also asking these talented individuals to consider donating their time and effort to become a certified American Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer to help Floridians in need. 

“I have directed all state executive agencies to authorize the deployment of any American Red Cross certified employees willing to volunteer to help in or operate shelters in response to this unprecedented storm. Agency leaders have also been authorized to grant employee volunteers training time in order to become certified if they are not already. We must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event, and I appreciate the many volunteers who are gearing up to help our state during this critical time.” 

In partnership with the American Red Cross, salaried, non-essential state employees can receive expedited volunteer certifications for disaster services so that they may assist in or operate shelters in response to Hurricane Irma impacts and preparation. Florida law allows Governor Scott to grant full-time, salaried state employees up to 15 days of administrative leave for emergency volunteer efforts through the American Red Cross. All Floridians can register for American Red Cross certifications at VolunteerFlorida.org.


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Gov. Scott Directs State Offices to be Closed Friday in Preparation for Hurricane Irma

Encourages State Employees to Volunteer in Support of Emergency Shelters

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott directed state offices to be closed in all 67 Florida counties this Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Prior to Friday’s statewide closures, state office closures will follow the direction of county officials and will be announced as they are determined. The Governor also issued a call to state employees across Florida encouraging them to volunteer in support of the state’s emergency shelter mobilization efforts.

Governor Scott said, “Our state workforce is filled with dedicated individuals who go above and beyond every day in service to the families who call Florida home. Ensuring the safety of these hardworking individuals and their families is a top priority, and I am directing all state offices to be closed this Friday so our state employees can fully focus on preparing for this storm and keeping their families safe. I am also asking these talented individuals to consider donating their time and effort to become a certified American Red Cross Disaster Services volunteer to help Floridians in need.

 

“I have directed all state executive agencies to authorize the deployment of any American Red Cross certified employees willing to volunteer to help in or operate shelters in response to this unprecedented storm. Agency leaders have also been authorized to grant employee volunteers training time in order to become certified if they are not already. We must do all we can to prepare our families and communities for any potential impact from this major weather event, and I appreciate the many volunteers who are gearing up to help our state during this critical time.”

 

In partnership with the American Red Cross, salaried, non-essential state employees can receive expedited volunteer certifications for disaster services so that they may assist in or operate shelters in response to Hurricane Irma impacts and preparation. Florida law allows Governor Scott to grant full-time, salaried state employees up to 15 days of administrative leave for emergency volunteer efforts through the American Red Cross. All Floridians can register for American Red Cross certifications at VolunteerFlorida.org.

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Governor Rick Scotts Fighting for Floridas Future Budget Fights to Support At-Risk Youth and Families

Apr 19, 2017

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced his Fighting for Floridas Future Budget, which invests an additional $16 million into Floridas juvenile justice system for a total of $571 million.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 31, 2017

 

Heather DiGiacomo

heather.digiacomo@djj.state.fl.us

(850) 921-5900

 

Governor Rick Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget Fights to Support At-Risk Youth and Families

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Today, Governor Rick Scott announced his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget, which invests an additional $16 million into Florida’s juvenile justice system for a total of $571 million. This funding will support the continuation of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) reform efforts and its core mission of reducing juvenile delinquency, increasing public safety, and providing the services at-risk youth and their families need in the coming years to transition youth back into their communities and guide them towards successful adulthood.

 

Governor Scott said, “Florida has taken tremendous steps forward in reducing juvenile delinquency with juvenile arrests dropping to the lowest levels in more than forty years. We will continue to invest in effective programs and services that will not only help vulnerable youth in our state get the opportunities they need to succeed, but also ensure that Florida remains a safe state for families and visitors to enjoy for years to come.”

 

“Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget demonstrates Florida’s commitment to not only having the most comprehensive juvenile justice system in the country but to also having the best system as well” said DJJ Secretary Christina Daly. “By investing in the entirety of our system, from prevention all the way to aftercare, Governor Scott’s recommendations will solidify for now and the future both the strength and quality of the services provided to Florida’s children and their families.”

 

 

Highlights from Governor Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget include:

 

$10.5 million to increase evidence-based interventions and services in residential commitment contracts as well as ensure capacity for youth adjudicated to non-secure and secure residential commitment programs.

 

$2.6 million to add workforce education and job placement services at existing day treatment and residential programs. This funding will provide workforce education and job placement for 500 youth in various programs in order to help them find employment, which makes them less likely to reoffend.

 

$4.7 million to expand evidence-based prevention programs. Effective prevention programs have been a critical component in reducing Florida’s juvenile arrest rate. This funding will increase public safety by providing prevention programming to additional youth.

 

$10 million to provide the necessary repairs and maintenance of detention, probation, and residential facilities. This funding will support security improvement and life safety projects, electrical upgrades, and ensure proper compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

 

 

What they are saying…

Stacy Gromatski, President and CEO of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, said, “The Florida Network would like to thank Governor Scott for continuing to recognize the importance of investing in prevention services in our state. Having the ability to reach younger children, before they come into contact with the juvenile justice system, ensures not only a brighter future for them but strong families and communities overall.”

 

Mary Marx, President and CEO of the Pace Center for Girls, said, “On behalf of vulnerable girls in our state, we appreciate Governor Scott’s investment in prevention services in Florida. Under his leadership, more girls and young woman have access to education, counseling, and trauma informed services so that they can reach their full potential and successfully transition to adulthood.”

 

Cathy Craig-Myers, Executive Director of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, said, “Governor Scott has been steadfast in his commitment to our state’s juvenile justice reform work and the ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget is a reflection of that unwavering commitment. From the implementation of DJJ’s Roadmap to System Excellence several years ago to today, Florida has and will continue in the future to serve as a model juvenile justice system for the rest of the country.”

 

To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit www.fightingforfloridasfuturebudget.com.

 

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Governor Scott: Lowest Juvenile Arrests in More Than 40 Years

Nov 14, 2016

Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2015-2016 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 14, 2016

CONTACT: GOVERNOR’S PRESS OFFICE

(850) 717-9282
media@eog.myflorida.com

 

Gov. Scott: Lowest Juvenile Arrests in More Than 40 Years

 

Florida Continues to be a National Leader in Juvenile Justice

 

 

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott announced today that the number of juvenile arrests continued to decline in 2015-2016 according to the latest delinquency report released by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). Statewide, juvenile arrests dropped another 7 percent in the last fiscal year, which resulted in a six-year decline of 37 percent. This year’s decrease is keeping in line with the drop in delinquency Florida has had each year, resulting in the lowest number of juvenile arrests in more than forty years. 

 

 

 

Governor Scott said, “The continued decline in juvenile arrests in Florida is a reflection of our commitment to keeping our communities safe and having the best juvenile justice system in the country. We will continue to support effective programs and services by making important investments in DJJ so Florida remains a safe state for all families and visitors.”

 

 

 

The current report, covering a five-year period, released by DJJ also shows a decrease in certain felony offenses, including a 4 percent decrease in aggravated/assault battery, an 8 percent decrease in weapon/firearm arrests, and a 12 percent decrease in felony drug arrests. Overall misdemeanor offenses decreased by 15 percent last year with an overall decline of 40 percent in the past five years.

 

 

 

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christina Daly said, “By keeping our focus on front end prevention and diversion services, DJJ is working hard to provide the right level of treatment for Florida’s youth while always placing a strong emphasis on holding them accountable and ensuring public safety. DJJ will continue to work side by side with our law enforcement partners and community stakeholders to keep kids out of the juvenile justice system or from going deeper into the system all together.”

 

 

 

The five counties with the largest populations in Florida continue to show decreases in juvenile arrests over the last fiscal year. The county with the largest drop was Miami-Dade County with a 12 percent decrease, followed by Broward County with an 8 percent reduction, Orange County with a 7 percent decrease, Palm Beach County with a 6 percent decrease, and Hillsborough County with a 2 percent decline in juvenile arrests.

 

 

 

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Statement from Secretary Christina Daly on the Death of a

Oct 19, 2016

At approximately 1245 a.m., the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), was notified by our contracted provider, Youth Opportunity Investments, of the death of a youth committed to the Broward Youth Treatment Center.

CONTACT:

 

Heather DiGiacomo

 

heather.digiacomo@djj.state.fl.us

 

(850) 717-2710

 

At approximately 12:45 a.m., the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), was notified by our contracted provider, Youth Opportunity Investments, of the death of a youth committed to the Broward Youth Treatment Center.

 

On behalf of DJJ, I first wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family.  His unexpected and untimely death has been devastating to not only them, but to the youth and staff at the program as well as all of us at DJJ.

 

The Department will be working collaboratively with local law enforcement to assist in their investigation of the circumstances surrounding this untimely death. The Department also immediately had staff on site to begin an intensive review of all records and actions by contracted personnel to ensure that all measures were taken. It appears at this time, following a preliminary review, that staff were performing routine checks as required to monitor the youth. The DJJ Inspector General will conduct a comprehensive and thorough investigation, which once completed will be made available to the public. The medical examiner will determine the cause of death.

 

At the present time, our focus is on the youth and staff at Broward Youth Treatment Center and ensuring they have the needed supports in place to deal with the overwhelming grief and shock of this loss.

 

The Department will release additional information as it becomes available.

 

---Christina K. Daly, Secretary     

 



Governor Rick Scott: Florida's Crime Rate at a 45 Year Low

Jun 03, 2016

In 2015, there were 10,773 fewer crimes than in 2014, which represents a 1.6 percent decrease.

For Immediate Release 

June 3, 2016

Contact: media@eog.myflorida.com

(850) 717-9282

 Governor Rick Scott: Florida’s Crime Rate at a 45-Year Low

~ Also Highlights More Than $4.9 billion in Public Safety Measures ~

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that Florida’s crime is now at a 45-year low. In 2015, there were 10,773 fewer crimes than in 2014, which represents a 1.6 percent decrease. The crime rate has dropped by 3.1 percent since 2014. This year, Governor Scott invested more than $4.9 billion in public safety measures in the Florida First budget. This investment included improvements to the Florida Department of Corrections and increasing staff across Florida’s public safety system. 

Governor Rick Scott said, “Florida’s crime rate continues to drop thanks to the hard work and dedication of our brave law enforcement officers. We are committed to building safer communities and want Florida to be the safest and best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family. By investing more than $4.9 billion in public safety measures across our state, we want to ensure that our law enforcement and safety agencies are equipped with the tools they need to keep Florida families safe.” 

Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “The crime rate in Florida is the lowest it has been in 45 years and that is due to the great work of our state law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day protecting Floridians and our visitors. I cannot express the extent of my gratitude to each and every law enforcement officer in our state for their selfless commitment to the safety of Floridians and our great prosecutors who work to keep the worst of the worst behind bars where they below.” 

FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said, “I am proud to join Governor Scott in recognizing Florida’s dropping crime rate. Our dedicated law enforcement officers work every day to protect Florida families and we will continue to do all we can to keep Florida safe.” 

The complete 2015 Annual Uniform Crime Report, including county-by-county breakdowns, can be found on FDLE’s website HERE. To view the Florida First budget, click HERE

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DJJ Awards Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year

Apr 26, 2016

Orlando, Fla. - The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) honored Linda Baker with the 2014-2015 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award during a ceremony at the 2016 Adolescent Conference.

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 21, 2016             

                                                       

 

CONTACT: Heather DiGiacomo

heather.digiacomo@djj.state.fl.us

(850) 717-2710

 

 

DJJ Awards Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year

 

Orlando, Fla. - The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) honored Linda Baker with the 2014-2015 Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award during a ceremony at the 2016 Adolescent Conference.  

Ms. Baker is a teacher with the Washington County School Program at the Okeechobee Youth Development Center (OYDC) where for the past three years she has taught an innovative reading class that incorporates technology into her curriculum, fostering a love for reading in her students.   

“Ms. Baker embraces the world of technology and its application in her classroom creates a fun and exciting environment for her students,” said DJJ Secretary Christina K. Daly who presented Ms. Baker with the Teacher of the Year Award. “This inventive approach allows her to engage with her students in a creative and new way, while ensuring that her students are learning and achieving academic success.”

Ms. Baker has introduced e-readers for poetry analysis and for decoding reading strategies. She incorporates tablets and laptops for her daily rotation of reading groups and allows her students to use computers to complete their homework assignments and book reports. 

Baker said, “I am keenly aware that today’s millennial students use technology as a staple in their everyday lives. The absence of fusing technology with education will limit a student’s success in the high-tech world. By turning technology into an integral part of my classroom instruction, I have taken an application of leisure and transformed it into a mode of academic enrichment.” 

DJJ partnered with the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation to select the finalists for the Juvenile Justice Teacher of the Year Award.  Ms. Baker was chosen as one of three finalists out of many juvenile justice educators throughout the state of Florida.  Each finalist received a medal and monetary award. 

The award was presented at the 21st annual Adolescent Conference Building Bridges: Uniting for Youth, Families and Communities hosted by the Florida Juvenile Justice Association (FJJA).

 

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