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Press Release Detail

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Response to COVID-19

March 17, 2020


DJJ Communications Office


(850) 921-5900


The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice continues to closely monitor the impacts of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) in Florida. We will always prioritize the wellbeing of youth in our custody and the staff who care for them, and we are taking all necessary precautions. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has taken several actions to help protect our staff and youth. These actions include the following:

  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s Office of Health Services developed COVID-19 guidance for all facilities serving DJJ youth. This guidance included Center for Disease Control criteria on how to assess and care for youth who are exhibiting fever and respiratory symptoms and environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has modified screening protocols and procedures for youth taken into custody by law enforcement who are brought to juvenile assessment centers and detention screening units to now include precautionary coronavirus screening questions and protocols. This modified screening protocol was shared with law enforcement partners statewide.
  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has developed a visitor screening tool which is now mandatory to use inside of our juvenile detention centers and residential commitment programs to ensure both the safety of the youth and staff in these programs. The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has sent a notice to parents and guardians of youth in programs regarding the new visitor screening requirements. 

  • The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice has instituted additional screening measures for outside vendors who work within juvenile facilities and non-essential travel of staff members has been stopped. Visitors are limited to business-related visitors only (i.e., vendors, no personal visitors, no volunteers at this time). The department will work with these entities on alternatives to visiting programs to ensure critical services are not interrupted. Clinical personnel, however, are still permitted to visit youth for treatment purposes, and attorneys are still permitted to conduct legal visits with youth.

As always, the best source of information on COVID-19 in Florida is the Florida Department of Health’s website at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/.