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Press Release Detail

Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Presents State's Plan for Improvement to the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges

August 6, 2013


Meghan Speakes Collins
DJJ Communications Director



Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Presents State’s Plan for Improvement to the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges


Tallahassee, Fla. -- Today, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters presented the Department's Roadmap to System Excellence to the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges.


Secretary Walters said, "I was incredibly proud to share our comprehensive and detailed plan to improve Florida's juvenile justice system with Florida's circuit judges who play an integral role in helping at-risk and delinquent youth thrive. I've had the opportunity to travel the state and hear from more than 2,000 Floridians, and I am confident that Florida has a solid foundation, with strong partners, that will enable us to become a national model for juvenile justice."


Secretary Walters highlighted successes the agency has already achieved as a result of the new community-based approach of prevention, diversion, intervention and family engagement. In the two years since Secretary Walters began leading the agency, delinquency arrests have decreased 23% - including a 28% decrease in school-based arrests and a 29% decrease in first-time misdemeanor arrests.


“The DJJ Roadmap ensures that we continue the focus on providing the right service, for the right youth, at the right time. As our recent successes show, a community-based approach results in safer communities and better outcomes for our youth,” Walters added.


She also emphasized the importance of collaboration and the crucial role circuit judges hold in assuring the needs of each youth are addressed. Judges are in the community and are often the first people to identify families' needs.  DJJ will continue working together with judges, and all of its stakeholders, to provide services based on the needs of individual communities.