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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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Background screenings are required for all DJJ employees. Find out more.
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Become a partner and inspire! Learn how your faith organization can work with DJJ to help youth in your community.
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
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, 985 and 943, 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 or service. The five-year increments are calculated s follows:
For DJJ (State) employee's/volunteer's from the date of hire/utilization
For contract/grant providers, from the date fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Clearinghouse.
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:
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.
There are 56 disqualifying criminal offenses set forth in Sections 435.04 and 985.644, Florida Statutes. Click the highlighted statute to view this link.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
All persons required to be screened must be eligible before they can have contact with youth or youth records.
An employer may hire an applicant to a position that requires background screening before screening is completed for training and orientation purposes only. During training and orientation, the applicant may not have contact with youth or youth records or be on the grounds where youth are housed or receiving services until the screening process is completed and the applicant demonstrates that he or she exhibits no behaviors that warrant the denial or termination of employment.
If an employer becomes aware that an employee has been arrested for a disqualifying offense, the employer must take the following actions until the arrest is resolved:
Remove the employee from contact with all youth and youth records
Remove the employee from the grounds where youth are housed or receiving services
If a person has been screened through the Clearinghouse by one of the other specified state agencies and a Department Contract Provider (DCP) wants to hire that individual, the DCP must:
Evidence of screening must be retained in the personnel files for those screened.
CRIMINAL HISTORY CONFIDENTIALITY
Level 2 screening records are confidential and may not be shared with anyone other than the individual that was screened.
If the court’s finding is missing from the criminal history report, DJJ will contact the person screened through certified mail (based on the address submitted to FDLE) for additional information, which will delay the processing of the screening.
The employer should contact the person screened if delays exist.
The following documents are required when applying for an Exemption.
An exemption denial made by the Agency Head or his or her designee may be appealed to the Division of Administrative Hearing (DOAH) pursuant to section 120.57, F.S.
Governing Statutes: 985.644 and 435.04
Each contract entered into by the department for services delivered on an appointment or intermittent basis by a provider that does not have regular custodial responsibility for children and each contract with a school for services must ensure that all owners, operators, and personnel who have direct contact with children are subject to level 2 background screening pursuant to chapter 435.
A volunteer who assists the department or any program for children on an intermittent basis for less than 10 hours per month need not be screened if a person who meets the screening requirement of this section is always present and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight.
All contract provider and grant recipient:
An exemption cannot be granted to a person solely by reason of a pardon, executive clemency, or restoration of civil rights.
Exemptions granted by other agencies shall be considered by the Department, but are not binding on the Department.
Livescan and 5-Year Rescreen (resubmission) fees may vary depending upon the Livescan provider fees.
© 2012 Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
2737 Centerview Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3100