Florida Juvenile Justice 2010 End-of-Session Report

May 18, 2010


The 2010 Florida Legislative Session ended on Friday, April 30.

The Legislature, which faced a $3.2 billion deficit for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2010-2011, filled this hole with cuts to health care and criminal justice, as well as by depleting trust funds, using non-recurring federal stimulus money, passing a Seminole Indian Gaming Compact that is expected to generate close to $500 million in the first year, and by spending Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (“FMAP”) money that has not yet been approved by Congress.

The State of Florida anticipates facing a deficit of as much as $5 to $7 billion during Fiscal Year 2011-2012, mainly caused by a lack of new revenue and a cessation of federal stimulus money.

The following are juvenile justice-related highlights from Florida’s Budget:



  • No cuts were made to Children in Need of Services (CINS)/Families in Need of Service (FINS) or Practical Academic Cultural Education (PACE), which are the State’s two largest prevention providers.
  • Funds include $1 million from non-recurring general revenue to provide and develop a pilot program of jobs for at-risk youth.  The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (“DJJ”) will contract with non-profit or faith-based organizations that have experience in providing services to at-risk youth, as well as in community involvement throughout the counties of Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee and Sarasota.


Juvenile Assessment Centers (“JACs”)

  • $1 million was restored to Leon, Pasco, Polk and Marion county Juvenile Assessment Centers.



  • The Redirections Program received an additional $1.6 million in non-recurring funding.   In addition, the DJJ received authorization to work with Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration for Medicaid billing of Redirection Services.
  • The initial reduction to the Conditional Release Program was restored.



  • A proviso was included in the Budget stating that the DJJ may contract for services consistent with its Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative and the Annie E. Casey Foundation to divert youth from secure detention to alternative community-based services.  These services should be designed using in-home and community advocacy to reduce the need for more expensive restrictive placements, build community capacity to reduce recidivism, create supported work opportunities for youth and improve community safety.



  • Reduction of $7.8 million to non-secure residential facilities (approximately 220 beds)
  • Reduction of $3.4 million to secure residential (approximately 67 beds)
  • A Budget proviso in relation to the funding reductions reads that, for determining the most appropriate bed reductions in each level of residential commitments, the DJJ may consider those residential commitment programs, if necessary, which have scored below 72 on the overall program score represented in the Comprehensive Accountability Report.  The DJJ may also consider programs that are underutilized, those that provide services for which there is a less critical need and other relevant performance measures in determining which level of residential beds should be reduced.  Should reductions involve state-operated programs, the DJJ is authorized to submit a budget amendment in accordance with all applicable provisions of Chapter 216, Florida Statutes, to transfer positions and funds as necessary to accomplish the reduction of beds.  The DJJ shall apply identical criteria in determining whether bed reductions come from contracted or state-operated beds.


DJJ Internal Reductions

The following DJJ positions have been eliminated:

  • 61 detention positions
  • 16 probation positions
  • 8 residential positions
  • 6 Youth Custody Officer positions


Legislation Passed Relating to Juvenile Justice


CS/SB 1012 relating to the Department of Juvenile Justice Facilities and Programs

Vote: Senate 34-0; House 117-0

The bill creates a definition of “ordinary medical care in department facilities and programs” to include routine medical procedures such as “inoculations, physical examinations, remedial treatment for minor illnesses and injuries, preventive services, medication management, chronic disease detection and treatment and other routine medical procedures that . . . do not involve hospitalization, surgery, or use of general anesthesia.” Section 985.03(39), F.S.

The bill also amends s. 985.64, F.S., the DJJ’s rulemaking statute, to require the DJJ to adopt Rules for ordinary medical care, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services and developmental disabilities services.  Additionally, the bill requires the DJJ to coordinate its Rulemaking effort with the Florida Department of Children and Family Services and the Agency for Persons with Disabilities to ensure there is no encroachment on either agency’s substantive jurisdiction. As appropriate, the DJJ must include the above agencies in its Rulemaking process.

If approved by Florida Governor Charlie Crist, these provisions take effect July 1, 2010.


CS/HB 7069 2nd Eng. Relating to Screening

Vote: Senate 37-0; House 112-0

The bill substantially rewrites requirements and procedures for background screening of persons and businesses that deal primarily with vulnerable populations.  Major provisions of the bill include:

Requiring that no person required to be screened may begin work until the screening has been completed; increasing all Level 1 screening to Level 2 screening for persons working with vulnerable populations; requiring all fingerprints to be submitted electronically by August 1, 2012; requiring certain personnel that are not presently being screened to begin Level 2 screening; including additional serious crimes to the list of disqualifying offenses; authorizing agencies to request the retention of fingerprints by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement;  providing that an exemption for a disqualifying felony may not be granted until at least three years after the completion of all sentencing sanctions for that felony;  requiring that all exemptions from disqualification be granted only by the agency head;  requiring the DJJ to randomly drug test licensed foster parents if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is using illegal drugs, and providing that the cost of testing shall be paid by the foster parent and reimbursed by the department if the test is negative.  CS/HB 7069 also provides that school districts provide a list of available substitute teachers to appropriate early learning coalitions.  The new screening requirements are prospective; existing persons working with vulnerable populations are not required to be rescreened until such time they are otherwise required to be rescreened by existing law.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect August 1, 2010.



Should you have any comments or questions, please contact Frank Mayernick Jr. (fmayernick@cftlaw.com) at Colodny Fass.


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