The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) today announced its plan to establish an Office of Youth and Family Advocacy within the Office of the DJJ Secretary.
The Office will serve as a firsthand resource working directly with youth and families to foster communication and amplify their voice in the ongoing improvement of the juvenile justice system. Youth and families will have an additional avenue to raise concerns and engage with the Department to ensure youth and family needs are addressed. This Office will help enhance robust improvement measures at DJJ and give youth and their families another layer of accountability.
“The Department is committed to the well-being and safety of youth and engaging with families to ensure we are meeting their needs,” said Secretary Christina K. Daly. “The Office of Youth and Family Advocacy will share our vision that all Florida’s children live in safe and nurturing communities that provide for their needs, recognize their strengths and support their success.”
DJJ continues to evaluate and identify new ways to build on the tremendous progress made with our aggressive and innovative reforms over the past six years. As part of system-wide reform, evidence-based services are provided throughout the delinquency continuum, with research-based services matched to youths’ assessed risks and needs. The transformation of our juvenile justice system in recent years is producing results:
- Florida has the lowest juvenile arrest rate in more than 40 years.
- DJJ has reduced the use of residential commitment for low-moderate risk youth by 60 percent.
- DJJ has the lowest recidivism for youth on probation that the agency has ever seen.
Over the next several weeks, the Department will begin setting the vision of this newly-created office including identifying the necessary resources to ensure effectiveness. More information will be released in the coming weeks.