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Detention Services

  • Q: How long do juveniles stay in detention?
    A: Juvenile detention in Florida is a short-term temporary program. Juveniles who require long-term sanctions and rehabilitation are placed into non-residential or residential treatment programs. Within 24 hours after taken into custody, the youth will appear in court and have a detention hearing before a judge authorizing the youth’s detention status. If the judge continues the youth’s detention status, his/her length of stay may extend up to 21 days or more.
  • Q: How many detention centers are in the state of Florida?
    A: The Department operates 21 juvenile detention centers in 21 counties with a total of 1342 beds. The detention centers provide custody, supervision, education and mental health/substance abuse and medical services to juveniles statewide. Juvenile Detention Officers receive specialized training and certification.
  • Q: Are males and females detained in the same centers?
    A: Yes, males and females are detained in the same detention centers. However, males and females are separated in different housing units.
  • Q: Are families allowed to visit juveniles detained in detention?
    A: Yes. Visitation is an important component of a youth’s stay in detention and is encouraged and supported by detention staff. Parents, grandparents, and legal guardians are approved visitors. Others may only visit if so ordered by the court or specifically approved by the Superintendent or designee. A youth's assigned Juvenile Probation Officer should be contacted to approve both visitation list additions and special visitation arrangements.


    Click here for a list of detention centers and visiting hours. Detention Centers 

    Legal counsel, Probation, law enforcement, clergy and other professionals may visit youth outside of regularly established visitation times as necessary, and are subject to any requirements regarding signing-in and contraband.

    All visitors are subject to electronic search. Visitors shall not bring personal items (e.g. keys, purses, packages, etc.) into the secure area. The introduction of any unauthorized items into a detention facility is a 3rd degree felony.

    All visitors will be required to sign-in and sign-out on the Visitor’s Log of the youth being visited. Visitors shall be denied entrance if they:

    • Are disruptive or uncooperative;
    • Refuse to be searched;
    • Refuse to comply with officer instructions;
    • Are under the influence or appear to be under the influence of any intoxicating substance;
    • Fail to present proper photo identification;
    • Attempt to introduce contraband to the secure area; and/or
    • Are dressed in inappropriate attire as outline in the Facility Operating Procedures and as posted at the facility entrance.

    Visitation may be terminated if the behavior of the visitor or of the youth is disruptive or not in compliance with facility policies and procedures. The termination of a visit may lead to the suspension of future visitation privileges at the discretion of the Superintendent.

    Any questions that a visitor may have regarding a youth’s case or charges should be referred to the youth's assigned Juvenile Probation Officer. Other questions should be referred to the on-duty JJDO Supervisor.

    Visitation shall take place in a designated area or room of the facility that contributes to a safe and secure environment. Visitation room or areas and any other common area shall be searched both prior to and following visitation to ensure the absence of any hazardous or dangerous items or items that would be considered contraband.

  • Q: What happens to my son/daughter’s property?
    A: The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice recognizes the need to safeguard the personal property of youth brought into its care. All of the youth’s property is inventoried at admission and the valuable property is stored in the facility safe. Other personal property (clothing, shoes, etc.) is stored in a locked storage room for the duration of the youth’s stay. Property is released to the youth upon release from the facility.
  • Q: Can I bring them their medication?
    A: Yes. Only medication in the original container from a licensed pharmacy, with an appropriate, current label intact on the medication container may be taken into the facility.

    Proper labeling includes the following:

    • Name and address of the pharmacy
    • Telephone number of the pharmacy
    • Date of dispensing
    • Name of the prescribing health care professional
    • Name of youth
    • Dosage directions (route/number of times taken (frequency) daily)
    • Warning statements, if applicable, and/or additional instructions for use.
  • Q: Do the youth receive medical treatment while in detention?
    A: Yes. Medical services are provided through a contract with a local health care provider. All youth entering the detention center receive a routine medical screening within 72 hours of their admittance to the facility. Routine examinations may include TB, vision, and screening for sexually transmitted diseases. The medical clinic is staffed by licensed medical staff who are available to respond to health-related issues daily. Any medical problems that cannot be handled by medical staff will be referred to a local medical facility. Parents should contact the center if their child is in need of medical services. Parents will be notified if any emergency medical services are needed during the youth’s stay in the detention center. In addition, detention staff are trained in CPR and First Aid to ensure that they are prepared to handle emergency medical situations if they arise.
  • Q: Does a mental health counselor see the youth while in detention?
    A: Yes, depending on the needs of the youth. The department currently contracts with a private mental health provider to provide mental health services at each of the detention centers. The Designated Mental Health Authority (DMHA) is a licensed mental health care worker. Mental health staff provide of mental health and substance abuse treatment services. The mental health care staff ensure youth with identified mental health, substance abuse, and suicide issues are seen for the purposes of screening, assessment, treatment, and crisis intervention services.
  • Q: What is Home Detention?
    A: Home Detention Program allows eligible youth to await his/her next court appearance at home or at another appropriate placement. All detained youth are screened for the Home Detention Program prior to their detention hearing. At the time of the detention hearing, the judge will specify whether the youth is to be held in secure detention, placed on Home Detention or released. When a youth is placed on the Home Detention Program, a Juvenile Probation Officer will supervise them. The parent or legal guardian and youth sign a supervision contract. If for any reason this contract is violated or the youth is charged with a new law violation, he/she can be transferred back to secure detention until their case is resolved.
  • Q: What can we bring our son/daughter?
    A: Clothing and personal hygiene items are provided for all youth. The detention center provides supplies and clothing for the youth. Detained youth are not permitted to have money. Gifts are discouraged while the detainee is in the detention center. Snacks are provided by the detention center every night. Detained youth are not permitted to have any tobacco products at any time while they are in the detention center.
  • Q: When is court and where?
    A: Within 24 hours after taken into custody, the youth will appear in court and have a detention hearing before a judge authorizing the youth’s detention status. If the judge continues the youth’s detention status, his/her length of stay may extend up to 21 days or more.