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Juvenile Justice Bill Passes Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee

Sen. Victor Crist’s SB2094 continues forward momentum through the legislative process

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Tallahassee -- The Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee passed Senator Victor Crist’s SB 2094 relating to juvenile justice. This bill is part a 2009 legislative priority for the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). It clarifies statutory language and provides assistance for the most vulnerable youth in the juvenile justice system.

"I am grateful for Senator Crist’s leadership in sponsoring SB2094, and all his efforts on behalf of children in the juvenile justice system," said DJJ Secretary Frank Peterman, Jr. "These changes would carry our state far in addressing the needs of these vulnerable children. But we need the continued support of the Legislature as this bill makes its way through further committees."

SB2094, if enacted into law, would:

  • divert youth 9 years old and younger away from the juvenile justice system and concentrate help for them through Children and Families in Need of Services programs;
  • create legislative authority for residential programs for juvenile mothers that would allow their babies to stay with them;
  • make it easier to get medical and mental health treatment for children in the juvenile justice system, including youth with developmental disabilities or substance abuse problems;
  • require all volunteers who will have direct contact with children to undergo background screening.

"I have great hope that these important enhancements to the juvenile justice system will be approved by the Legislature," stated Senator Crist. "Children who are at-risk need these provisions to support their success in becoming productive citizens."

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