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Background Screening Unit (BSU)

BSU Online Credit Card Payment System

Using the BSU Online Credit Card Payment System, providers can pay for employment background screenings using MasterCard and Visa!  

Please have your Facility/Program Code available.Review Instructional Guide

BSU Overview

Myra Burks
Manager, Background Screening Unit

The Background Screening Unit (BSU) assists the Department in meeting its goal of hiring applicants who meet statutory and agency standards by conducting Level II pre-employment screening and 5-year re-screening pursuant to Chapters 435, 984, and 985, Florida Statutes, and the Department's background screening policy and procedure. Background screening is conducted on state and contract provider directors, owners, applicants, employees, volunteers, mentors, and interns. The term contract provider includes grant recipient employees, volunteers, mentors, and interns.

The Department requires two background screenings. The Livescan screening which is required prior to being employed or becoming a volunteer and the 5-Year Rescreen, which is required to ensure that employees and volunteers maintain Level II standards. Background screenings consist of a state and national fingerprint check through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) as well as a demographic search of the Florida Clerk of the Courts through the State’s Judicial Inquiry System (JIS). As a criminal justice agency, the Department has access to juvenile, sealed, and expunged criminal history information.

The 5-Year Rescreen must be completed on all state and contract provider employees and volunteers every five years of employment. The five-year increments are calculated from the employee's/volunteer's date of hire/utilization in a DJJ or contract provider program.

The BSU uses Livescan technology to electronically submit fingerprints to FDLE. Livescan enables FDLE to immediately provide Arrest Notifications to the BSU on both state and contract provider employees who are arrested during the term of their employment.

Background screenings are rated using one of three classifications listed below. These classifications are based on the applicant's criminal history:

  • Eligible
  • Identified/Non-Caretaker Only
  • Ineligible/Disqualified

Applicants and volunteers who receive eligible ratings may be hired or utilized in all positions. Applicants and volunteers who receive identified/non-caretaker only ratings cannot work/volunteer in a facility/program and can only be hired or utilized in a position where they do not have contact or access to youth or confidential youth records. Applicants and volunteers who receive a rating of ineligible/disqualified can not be hired or utilized until the Department grants an exemption. 

The following is a sample of the 56 disqualifying criminal offenses set forth in Sections 435.04 and 985.644, Florida Statutes:

  • Murder
  • Vehicular homicide
  • False imprisonment
  • Lewd and lascivious behavior
  • Incest
  • Child abuse
  • Felony theft and robbery
  • Domestic violence
  • Felony drug charges
  • Aiding in an escape
  • Encouraging someone to join a gang
  • Resisting arrest with violence
  • Introduction of contraband
  • Sexual misconduct in juvenile programs
  • Kidnapping

To be ineligible/disqualified from employment, an applicant must have been found guilty of, pled guilty to, or pled no contest or nolo contendere, to at least one of the charges listed in Chapter 435 and 985.644, Florida Statutes. Dispositions of withheld adjudication will also be rated ineligible/disqualified.

The Department may not remove a disqualification from employment or grant an exemption to any person who receives a rating of ineligible/disqualified under Chapter 435, or 985.644, Florida Statutes, until at least three (3) years have elapsed since the applicant completed or was lawfully released from confinement, supervision, or sanction for a felony disqualifying offense. If the disqualifying offense is a misdemeanor, or was a felony when committed, but is now a misdemeanor, the applicant can apply for an exemption once he/she has completed all sanctions associated with that offense. The Agency Head decides whether or not an exemption should be granted or denied and makes a final decision on behalf of the Department. If there is an abuse of discretion by the Department, exemption denials made by the Agency Head may be reconsidered via a formal Division of Administrative Hearing pursuant to Section 120.57, Florida Statutes.

Questions relating to background screening should be directed to the BSU at generalbsu@djj.state.fl.us or (850) 921-6345. The background screening policy and procedure should also be referred to for detailed instructions on how to initiate the screening process.