Governor Rick Scott today announced his “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget, which invests an additional $16 million into Florida’s juvenile justice system for a total of $571 million. This funding will support the continuation of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice’s (DJJ) reform efforts and its core mission of reducing juvenile delinquency, increasing public safety, and providing the services at-risk youth and their families need in the coming years to transition youth back into their communities and guide them towards successful adulthood.
Governor Scott said, “Florida has taken tremendous steps forward in reducing juvenile delinquency with juvenile arrests dropping to the lowest levels in more than forty years. We will continue to invest in effective programs and services that will not only help vulnerable youth in our state get the opportunities they need to succeed, but also ensure that Florida remains a safe state for families and visitors to enjoy for years to come.”
“Governor Scott’s ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget demonstrates Florida’s commitment to not only having the most comprehensive juvenile justice system in the country but to also having the best system as well” said DJJ Secretary Christina Daly. “By investing in the entirety of our system, from prevention all the way to aftercare, Governor Scott’s recommendations will solidify for now and the future both the strength and quality of the services provided to Florida’s children and their families.”
Highlights from Governor Scott’s “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget include:
$10.5 million to increase evidence-based interventions and services in residential commitment contracts as well as ensure capacity for youth adjudicated to non-secure and secure residential commitment programs.
$2.6 million to add workforce education and job placement services at existing day treatment and residential programs. This funding will provide workforce education and job placement for 500 youth in various programs in order to help them find employment, which makes them less likely to reoffend.
$4.7 million to expand evidence-based prevention programs. Effective prevention programs have been a critical component in reducing Florida’s juvenile arrest rate. This funding will increase public safety by providing prevention programming to additional youth.
$10 million to provide the necessary repairs and maintenance of detention, probation, and residential facilities. This funding will support security improvement and life safety projects, electrical upgrades, and ensure proper compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
What they are saying…
Stacy Gromatski, President and CEO of the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services, said, “The Florida Network would like to thank Governor Scott for continuing to recognize the importance of investing in prevention services in our state. Having the ability to reach younger children, before they come into contact with the juvenile justice system, ensures not only a brighter future for them but strong families and communities overall.”
Mary Marx, President and CEO of the Pace Center for Girls, said, “On behalf of vulnerable girls in our state, we appreciate Governor Scott’s investment in prevention services in Florida. Under his leadership, more girls and young woman have access to education, counseling, and trauma informed services so that they can reach their full potential and successfully transition to adulthood.”
Cathy Craig-Myers, Executive Director of the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, said, “Governor Scott has been steadfast in his commitment to our state’s juvenile justice reform work and the ‘Fighting for Florida’s Future’ Budget is a reflection of that unwavering commitment. From the implementation of DJJ’s Roadmap to System Excellence several years ago to today, Florida has and will continue in the future to serve as a model juvenile justice system for the rest of the country.”
To view the complete list of Governor Scott’s budget recommendations, visit www.fightingforfloridasfuturebudget.com.