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DJJ enhances monitoring and quality improvement processes


For Immediate Release
Jan. 18, 2013


Contact:

DJJ Communications
850-921-5900
DJJ.News@djj.state.fl.us  


DJJ enhances monitoring and quality improvement processes

Tallahassee, Fla. – The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today announced additional efforts to enhance the Department’s quality improvement and contract monitoring systems.

“Our primary concern is the health and safety of Florida’s youth, and to that end we currently have numerous processes in place to ensure they are protected while in the juvenile justice system,” said DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters. “We are enhancing services to give kids the best foot forward so they can lead rewarding lives.”

As such, the department is taking the following actions immediately regarding the entirety of our system of residential commitment programs for juveniles in Florida:

  • The department will begin structured interviews of a cross-section of youth in every residential program. The interviews will focus on particular indicators of non-reporting of incidents, including youths’ access to Florida’s abuse registry hotline.

  • The department will begin enhanced mental health training, including trauma informed care principles, for staff in all of residential and detention programs.

  • The department will review the fidelity of its physical and verbal intervention system for handling youth (known as “PAR”) at every residential program to ensure the State’s legal guidelines for physical interventions are being adhered to.  If deficiencies are found, the Department will follow-up with technical assistance or corrective actions.

The review of individual incidents at every residential program will also undergo two changes:

  • First, some incidents of a perceived less serious nature are currently referred to the residential program for an internal review conducted by the program/provider.  Going forward, these types of incidents will be reviewed by the department’s program monitors. 

  • Second, videos from incidents are currently reviewed after an investigation is initiated. Going forward, the department’s program monitors will interview the youth and review every available video where there is an allegation of abuse or inappropriate physical intervention within 24 hours, prior to a formal incident review.

Last, the department will seek third-party assistance, including the consultation of The Annie E. Casey Foundation (see http://www.aecf.org/), to assess programs and recommend additional improvements as needed.

The safety of our youth and the safety of the general public demand a culture of perpetual improvement.  The integrity of our various reporting systems is often times the front-line to ensuring those safety measures of functioning.

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The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice strives increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency, strengthening families and turning around the lives of troubled youth. To learn more about DJJ, visit www.djj.state.fl.us and follow DJJ on www.twitter.com/fladjj, www.facebook.com/fladjj, and http://www.youtube.com/FLDJJ.




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