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Press Release Detail

Landmark DJJ Legislation Passes Senate Criminal Justice Committee

Department of Juvenile Justice priority “Blueprint Commission” bill passes first committee of reference

For immediate release:


Tallahassee -- The Florida Senate Criminal Justice Committee has unanimously passed Sen. Victor Crist’s SB 2128, relating to reform recommendations made by the Blueprint Commission regarding the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ). This legislation aims to begin reforming Florida’s juvenile justice system by diverting youth, protecting victims of juvenile crime and addressing issues surrounding over-representation of minority youth.

“I thank Chairman Paula Dockery and Sen. Crist for sponsoring this groundbreaking work product,” said DJJ Secretary Frank Peterman, Jr. “I believe this bill puts DJJ in a posture to protect our most vulnerable youth and support them as they turn their lives around, but we need the continued support of the Legislature as the bill makes its way through further committees.”

SB 2128 continues the implementation of the 2008 Blueprint Commission’s recommendations. If enacted into law, it will:

  • encourage law enforcement agencies, schools districts, counties, municipalities and DJJ to create pre-arrest and post-arrest diversion programs for children 9 years old and younger and first-time misdemeanor offenders, keeping them out of the juvenile justice system.
  • provide increased awareness and support for victims through restorative justice practices.
  • promote diversity on Juvenile Justice Boards and Councils, thereby addressing minority over-representation in the juvenile justice system.
  • require a review of the effectiveness of the Detention Risk Assessment Instrument, which is used to determine secure placement of youth pending court appearance.

“As Chairman of the Blueprint Commission, I commend Sen. Crist’s effort to push forward this legislation that begins to implement the recommendations suggested by the Commission representing the citizens of Florida,” Florida Atlantic University President Frank Brogan stated.

The bill will next travel to the Senate Committee on Children, Families, and Elder Affairs and will be heard in the House Public Safety & Domestic Security Committee on Friday.

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