Posts Tagged ‘florida department of juvenile justice’

Two formerly troubled teens now represent Florida agency as model adults

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Two young adults were honored by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Wednesday for the lives they left behind, and were named the agency’s 2017 Youth Ambassadors, according to a statement.
Secretary Christina K. Daly, head of the DJJ, and the Florida Juvenile Justice Foundation, along with members of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association and partners, honored the two new ambassadors at a reception at Florida’s Historic Capitol Building in Tallahassee, the statement said.
Jesus Mendoza and Alyssa Beck have unique backgrounds.
Mendoza was court-referred to the Empowered Youth program after committing a felony at the age of 15. He completed the program in the required six-month period and continued to graduate from high school. Mendoza was just accepted into college, where he plans on majoring in criminal justice. He once even stood for Empowered Youth at the White House, according to the statement.
He has not had a run-in with law enforcement since turning his life around, statement said.
Beck is a survivor of sex trafficking, now advocating for other survivors, becoming a voice for those silenced and not yet rescued, the statement said. She has dedicated her life to the eradication of human trafficking.
She works at two organizations committed to the anti-trafficking movement: the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center and at Rethreaded, a nonprofit organization founded to provide work for those escaping addiction, violence, human trafficking and prostitution.
“It is important that we take a closer look at the individual youth that come across our juvenile justice system and let their stories inspire us,” Daly said in the statement. “Their stories push us forward in doing the best we can for all youth and remind us that when we come together to make a difference in the lives of others, we all achieve success.”
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Report: Delinquency down in Florida, despite a host of challenges

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Despite several challenges facing the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), it has managed to lower youth arrests during the fiscal year for non-violent offenses.
This reduction in delinquency came through the increased use of civil citations, according to a 2017 report on the DJJ by the Florida Juvenile Justice Association (FJJA) acquired by FloridaPolitics.com before its public release later this week.
The FJJA report — entitled “Securing Florida’s Future by Protecting Florida’s Children: The State of the Roadmap to Excellence” — says that in FY 2015-2016, 121,968 children were served by the DJJ, with many children being served in their own communities. In the latest delinquency report just released by the Florida DJJ, juvenile arrests have dropped another 7 percent during FY 2015-16, resulting in a six-year decline of 37 percent.
Considerable success has been achieved with the expansion of civil citation and use of detention alternatives. Per the report, counties showing the most improvement are Miami-Dade County with a 12 percent drop, Broward County with an 8 percent decrease, Orange County with a 7 percent drop, Palm Beach County with a 6 percent decrease and Hillsborough County with a 2 percent drop.
But without sufficient support, maintaining these continued reductions in keeping at-risk youth from falling prey to the so-called “school to prison” pipeline might not last, said Catherine Craig-Myers, executive director of FJJA.
When asked if improvements could be sustained, she was skeptical – based on a host of reasons facing DJJ.
“Our report assumes that without continued reinvestment, to expand prevention, to maintain quality staff and their retention, and to institute training focused on rehabilitation and treatment, rather than punishment and incarceration, the answer would be no,” Craig-Myers told FloridaPolitics.com Monday ahead of the report’s release. “In my opinion, the ongoing discourse about how we are doing (regarding foster, or dependent, children) should

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Human trafficking cases increase 50 percent in Florida

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Officials say the number of human trafficking cases have increased more than 50 percent in the state from the previous year.The Florida Department of Children and Families says Florida received 1,892 reports of human trafficking. That’s a 54 percent increase from the previous year. The increase in reported allegations of human trafficking was due in large part to increased training and a new screening tool developed between DCF, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the attorney general.
The Statewide Council on Human Trafficking also implemented specialized training for first responders and other child welfare professionals to help recognize the signs.
DCF tracks human trafficking by three primary categories: sexual exploitation by a non-caregiver, such as an adult entertainment club or escort service; sexual exploitation by a parent, guardian or caregiver; and labor trafficking.
Republished with permission of The Associated Press.
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