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DJJ Legislation Passes House Criminal Justice & Civil Justice Policy Council

Department of Juvenile Justice priority “Blueprint Commission” bill continues its forward momentum

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Tallahassee -- The Florida Criminal and Civil Justice Policy Council has unanimously passed Rep. Garcia’s HB 1211, relating to reform recommendations made by the Blueprint Commission regarding the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This legislation aims to begin reforming Florida’s juvenile justice system by diverting youth, protecting victims of juvenile crime and addressing issues surrounding over-representation of minority youth.

“I thank Chairman Snyder and Rep. Garcia for sponsoring this groundbreaking work product,” said DJJ Secretary Frank Peterman, Jr. “I believe this bill puts DJJ in a posture to protect our most vulnerable youth and support them as they turn their lives around, but we need the continued support of the Legislature as the bill makes its way through further committees.”

SB 2128 continues the implementation of the 2008 Blueprint Commission’s recommendations. If enacted into law, it will:

  • encourage law enforcement agencies, schools districts, counties, municipalities and DJJ to create pre-arrest and post-arrest diversion programs for children 9 years old and younger and first-time misdemeanor offenders, keeping them out of the juvenile justice system.
  • provide increased awareness and support for victims through restorative justice practices.
  • promote diversity on Juvenile Justice Boards and Councils, thereby addressing minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system.
  • require a review of the effectiveness of the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument, which is used to determine secure placement of youth pending court appearance.

“As Chairman of the Blueprint Commission, I commend Rep. Garcia’s effort to sponsor and push forward this legislation that begins to implement the recommendations suggested by the Commission representing the citizens of Florida,” Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan stated.

The bill will next travel to the House Criminal & Civil Justice Appropriations Committee.

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