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Talk about four topics today:
1.Why the BPCJJ was created.
2.The challenges Florida faces and some perspective on the problem.
3.Our findings.
4.Our priority recommendations.
1
2003 Omar Paisley, 17, collapsed and dies at Miami-Dade JDC of a ruptured appendix without ever seeing a doctor after complaining for 3 days of stomach pain and suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.

2004, grand jury responded to years of complaints abut conditions at the Fla. Institute for Girls by documenting 150 allegations of criminal mismanagement, including excessive force, sexual misconduct, and inadequate supervision.  In 2005 the facility, Florida’s first all-girls Aprison@ was closed.
in 2006, Martin Lee Anderson, 14, died of suffocation at a Bay County boot camp after guards beat him when he was unable to finish running laps.  Security cameras captured the beating on tape.
 Twenty five citizens tasked to address reforms in juvenile justice
Composition: 16 white/8 AA/2 Hispanic ... 18 male/8 female.  Ran the gamut from ... University Pres. ... law enforcement (2) ... juvenile judges (2) ...minority advocates ... educators ... mental health expert ... physician ... business men and women ... former juvenile offenders (2)
 Embraced by Governor, DJJ Secretary, Florida Juvenile Justice Association, The Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, and The Children’s Campaign
 Funded by state and national philanthropic organizations (DuPont, Eckerd, JEHT)
 Conducted public hearings throughout Florida – Ft. Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, Ft. Myers, Tampa and Pensacola
 Evening “town hall” meetings for citizens to provide comment.  We received comments from youth, parents, Juvenile Justice Boards and Councils, Providers, Law Enforcement, Judges, State Attorneys, Public Defenders
 Presentations from state and national research experts
Before we address our findings, and some key recommendations, some perspective on the problem facing our State seems appropriate…
Rehabilitative system ... as such, we don’t incarcerate, jail, imprison - we “commit” to “programs” for rehabilitation.  Detention centers are not jails/prisons as you may understand them - are holding pens only, in theory for 21 days or less.
DJJ budget was $704 million last year, less than 1% of total State budget, of which:
$306 million spent on commitment.
$137 million spent on detention centers
$163 million spent on diversion
$68 million spent on prevention [Note: rest on administration, or $30 million]
The number and proportion of girls in the system has dramatically risen in recent years, which presents a host of health, mental health, and programmatic challenges.
Fla. arrest rate for juvenile girls is 76% higher than that of the rest of the country (1,259 per 100,000 vs. 716 per 100,000).
38,000 referrals for girls.
Girls have grown to represent 30% of all youth referred, 18% of those incarcerated/committed (vs. 24% and 10% in 1992), and 6% of all youth transferred to adult court.
There is a disproportionate number of minorities in the JJ system, especially AA youth, and the disproportion grows worse the deeper in the system one goes.
Black youth make up 21% of the population, but 52% of all referrals.
We must do a better job of meeting the mental health and physical needs of youth in the JJ system.
49% of youth in commitment programs have been dx w/ some form of mental illness, and another 14% demonstrate behavior that suggests mental illness.
65% of youth had a dx of, or behavior, suggesting a substance abuse disorder.
On average, prevention programs cost $2,128 per child per year, as opposed to $42,606 per year to commit a child.
Keep in mind that 62% of all commitments are for misdemeanors or probation violations.
35% of girls in the JJ system have experienced a pregnancy ... 46% have a hx. of substance abuse ... 68% are victims of physical or sexual or emotional abuse ... 40% of girls have parents who are substance abusers ... 21% live outside of the home.
Staff turnover, both at the DJJ and with the providers, is abysmally high.  Direct care staff is poorly equipped, poorly trained, and compensation is exceedingly low.
DJJ turnover is 26% annually.  Private provider turnover is 50%-66%.
Starting salaries: DJJ $23,482, private providers $19,780. [Note: DOC staff starts at $30,807]
JJ system teacher turnover is as high as 49%.
Governor Crist recommended 2% base salary increases for select positions.  Requiring the agency to develop and submit a plan for distribution.
System is broke.  It has been neglected for years and not a priority of State government.
Disconnect between Central Florida and much of rest of State.
AJuvenile justice system@ a Asystem@ in name only.
We need to invest in our JJ system if we really want to see a decrease in juvenile crime.
It=s what we do before the kid gets in the system, and after he=s released, that is more important than what we do while the kid is committed (incarcerated) in the system.