Central Communications Center
Incident Hotline: 1-800-355-2280
Want to know how to seal or expunge your criminal record? Visit the For Youth section for more information on youth records.
Find DJJ-funded programs in your area using the Program & Facility Locator.
Juvenile Justice Boards & Councils focus on crime prevention in their local communities.
Review DJJ forms by office or by subject. Forms are available for download in multiple file formats.
Juvenile Probation Officers (JPO) assess the needs and risks of youth entering the juvenile justice system.
Browse online health tips and resources by topic in the Health Initiatives section.
The Civil Citation Dashboard contains data on Florida’s use of Civil Citation as an alternative to arrest for 1st time misdemeanants.
The Juvenile Justice System Improvement Project (JJSIP) is a national initiative to reform the juvenile justice system by translating "what works" into everyday practice and policy.
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I. Purpose of Structured Decision-Making
The mission of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) is to “increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through effective prevention, intervention and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth.” As the agency responsible for the entire continuum of juvenile justice interventions, we are obligated to concentrate staff and programmatic resources in what we know works: community-based practice and programming. As we work to expand home-based interventions and reduce reliance on expensive residential facilities for youth who can be served safely and effectively in the community, we must also develop data-driven, research-based guidelines to help our staff determine which youth will receive what level of supervision.
As the nation’s largest juvenile justice agency, we are well positioned to be a leader in the field. Employing Structured Decision-Making (SDM) is one important way in which we can become a model for best practices. By examining statewide data and aligning our policies with the best evidence available concerning effective interventions, DJJ has developed a disposition matrix that will assist probation staff in making informed and consistent disposition recommendations. SDM has several benefits; It:
By weighing offense severity along with risk to reoffend, the disposition matrix has also been designed as a classification tool to help DJJ staff determine the most appropriate level of supervision for youth. This tool is not meant to replace the expertise and creativity of our staff. Instead, the hope is to capitalize on those traits while also recognizing the need for a consistent, research-based approach that applies across Florida’s 20 judicial circuits and 67 counties.
The Department’s continuing goal is to develop a continuum of care that provides the most effective and most cost-effective interventions in the least restrictive environment. As we expand the scope of community-based services, supervision, and sanctions for youth, strong policy guidelines are essential to ensure that those resources are appropriately targeted and that we are able to prioritize delinquency interventions that work best to protect public safety and outcomes for the youth entrusted to our care and supervision. Accordingly, the disposition matrix is founded on the premise that whenever possible, attempts to safely supervise and deliver services to youth in their homes and in their communities should be fully exhausted before making a recommendation for residential placement.
II. Implementation Guidelines and General Principles for DJJ Staff:
© 2012 Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3100