Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Juvenile Justice

What is the purpose of the department?

The Department of Juvenile Justice's mission is to increase public safety by reducing juvenile delinquency through effective prevention, intervention, and treatment services that strengthen families and turn around the lives of troubled youth.

What services does the department provide?

The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) provides services statewide that include the following four areas within the juvenile justice process.
  • Prevention Services provides voluntary delinquent prevention programs by contracting with and offering grants to service providers. The programs are designed to help high-risk youth avoid committing crimes.
  • Detention provides supervision for youth who are held pursuant to a court order, or have been arrested for a violation of the law, and less restrictive interim placement alternatives prior to adjudication and disposition are not appropriate.
  • Probation and Community Intervention supervises youth who are participating in sanctions and services while they remain in their communities.
  • Residential Services supervises youth who have been adjudicated by the court and sent to state residential commitment programs.
The department also offers services to youth through Health Services and the Office of Education.

How many youth are served?

  • Prevention Services served a total of 25,818 youth through state and federally funded prevention programs in Fiscal Year 2019-20.
  • Detention served 11,004 youth under secure detention, 6,419 youth without electronic monitoring, and 3,565 youth with electronic monitoring in Fiscal Year 2019-20.
  • Probation and Community Intervention served more than 35,000 youth in Fiscal Year 2019-20.
  • Residential Servicesserved3,388 youth through commitment programs in Fiscal Year 2019-20.

How does the department monitor and evaluate services?

The department monitors and evaluates programs in several ways.

Can the department help with children who need assistance?

Parents of a child who is in need, repeatedly skips school, or runs away from home can get help from the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services. This organization connects youths and families to community resources and counseling programs that work with troubled youth and their families.  This intervention can help prevent serious outcomes like a child dropping out of school, living on the streets, or being arrested.

What are the obligations of parents of delinquent youth?

Parents and guardians are required by law to pay up to $5 a day for the cost of care (such as room and board expenses) when their delinquent child is in state custody and $1 a day when the child is under state supervision in the community, such as probation. The amount is mandatory, unless a waiver or reduction is requested by the parents and approved by the judge.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions
JUVENILE JUSTICE, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: ACCOUNTABILITY AND PROGRAM SUPPORT
CONTRACTING AND QUALITY IMPROVEMENT
8,935,275
120.50
PROGRAM: JUVENILE DETENTION PROGRAM
DETENTION CENTERS
130,310,160
1,453.00
PROGRAM: OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY/ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
20,167,536
175.00
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
7,570,664
58.50
PROGRAM: PREVENTION AND VICTIM SERVICES
DELINQUENCY PREVENTION AND DIVERSION
93,352,610
20.00
PROGRAM: PROBATION AND COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS PROGRAM
COMMUNITY INTERVENTIONS AND SERVICES
50,535,500
496.00
COMMUNITY SUPERVISION
94,445,714
826.50
PROGRAM: RESIDENTIAL CORRECTIONS PROGRAM
NON-SECURE RESIDENTIAL COMMITMENT
139,152,048
.00
SECURE RESIDENTIAL COMMITMENT
84,814,072
90.00
TOTAL
629,283,579
3,239.50

Updates

Juvenile Justice Changes. The 2021 Legislature passed Chapter 2021-219, Laws of Florida, which made several changes at the state level. This bill permanently created the Accountability and Program Support Program within the Department of Juvenile Justice and changes the name of a unit from Prevention and Victim Services to Prevention Services. Additionally, the bill authorized the Department of Juvenile Justice to work with the Department of Education to review alternative models for education services in detention and residential facilities.

The bill also made changes at the local level. The bill amended the detention cost-sharing plan to ensure that a non-fiscally constrained county providing its own juvenile detention care is not required to participate in detention cost sharing. Additionally, in order to take a child into custody for failing to appear, a court must consider five specified criteria before issuing the order. For example, the court must consider if any person provided the notice to the child. Finally, several entities, including judges, state attorneys, and public defenders, must collaborate and create a plan for appropriate alternative incentives and consequences pertaining to technical probation violations. The incentives or consequences must be included in the child’s disposition order.  

Juvenile Justice Education Programs. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-70, Laws of Florida, which made changes to juvenile justice education programs. While the Department of Education is the lead agency for juvenile justice education programs, the Department of Juvenile Justice is involved in many activities including collaborating with education entities, collecting and reporting results of academic performance of youth, and developing academic and career protocols. The bill made contract related changes that require contracts between district school boards and juvenile justice education programs be in writing and specified how money can be spent.  

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
The Florida Department of Financial Services reports on agency contract management reviews are available on its website.
Monthly Accountability Scorecard, Department of Juvenile Justice.
Quality Improvement Program Reports, Department of Juvenile Justice.
Comprehensive Accountability Reports, Department of Juvenile Justice.
Service Continuum Analysis Report, Department of Juvenile Justice, 2016.
A Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions, Department of Juvenile Justice, 2015.
Evidence-Based Policies, Programs, and Practices in Juvenile Justice: Three States Achieving High Standards Through State Support Centers, National Center for Juvenile Justice, 2016.
Websites of Interest
National Center for Juvenile Justice
National Council on Crime and Delinquency
U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics
U.S. Department of Justice, National Criminal Justice Reference Service
U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Performance Measures
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 984 and 985, and s. 20.316, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Headquarters, 850-488-1850

Website