FJJA convenes an annual statewide conference and provides a high level training event presenting the latest evidence based research and clinical interventions found effective when treating at-risk or delinquent youth. The FJJA Adolescent Conference has become the leading juvenile justice conference in Florida, providing training and education to thousands of professionals statewide.
FJJA continues to identify cost saving solutions and systemic improvements to further strengthen the juvenile justice system. FJJA works in partnership with DJJ, the Florida Legislature, community stakeholders, partners and all providers to embrace effective interventions such as civil citation, prevention, assessment, diversion, specialized treatment, education and reentry/transition services.
FJJA continues to play a leadership role in making the legislature aware of inequities in education for juvenile justice students. Three pieces of legislation were promoted and passed in 1999, 2000, and 2004 that resulted in more funding in the classroom, qualified teachers, district accountability, GED exit option, comprehensive assessment protocols, and the legislative defining of the basic parameters of juvenile justice education.
FJJA worked to secure $1.6 million in funding to increase educational opportunities for DJJ youth by providing remediation courses, credit recovery, GED, Post-Secondary courses and CTE programs leading to a credential. Legislation is slated to pass in 2014 that will increase youth’s educational success and reduce recidivism rates, resulting in future cost savings and higher public safety.
FJJA was one of 3 statewide organizations who advocated for a “Blueprint Commission” to review Florida’s juvenile justice system. Once the commission was convened, FJJA made recommendations for improvement and worked with DJJ and other stakeholders to staff the commission activities.
FJJA, in partnership with the DJJ, assisted in two comprehensive rate studies to define the true costs of diversion, conditional release, day treatment, and residential services.
FJJA developed and implemented a planned strategy to secure from the legislature the resources necessary to effectively serve youth in provider care and to build and retain a competent workforce. FJJA was successful in securing resources, $5.5 million in 2005 and $21 million in 2006, to enhance funding across the entire juvenile justice continuum.
FJJA successfully advocated for modest rate adjustments to address the ever-rising costs of service delivery to include $5.7 million for residential care ($1.2 million in 2002, $900,000 in 2003, and $3.6 million in 2004) and $400,000 for Diversion services in 2004.
FJJA was selected by the Governor to co-chair a legislative task force designed to determine the feasibility of developing a certification system for provider staff. The task force defined the classes to be included in a certification system and the mechanics of how such a system could be implemented based on funding.
FJJA was selected by the Governor to chair a task force that made recommendations to the legislature on how to classify, assess and serve juveniles who commit a sexual offense. FJJA advocated for the Florida Legislature to review how juveniles who commit sexual offenses were handled in the juvenile justice system.
FJJA assisted providers in their efforts to seek financial relief from the costs incurred by the four storms. Coordinated application efforts with FEMA and documented the fiscal impact of the four storms on the provider community.
FJJA pursued revision to DJJ’s PAR policy in efforts to reduce injury to youth and staff. Success included elimination of backward and forward roll; elimination of hammer, wrist/shoulder lock; PAR testing on-site; expanded test time and more opportunities to take the test; course broken down into sections by need to know; and a menu of techniques allowing provider choice.
FJJA aggressively fought to prevent cuts to front-end services (CINS/FINS, PACE, Day Treatment) during the 2001, 2002 and 2003 legislative sessions. All three services were preserved as part of the juvenile justice continuum.
FJJA worked with the Department to define levels of specialty care and ensuring programming: care and custody; overlay; specialty; intensive and comprehensive. As a result, youth are provided in-depth mental health, substance abuse and sex offender services as their clinical diagnoses dictate.
FJJA initiated discussion with the Department of Juvenile Justice on the need for a QA challenge process. Such a process was implemented in 2002.
FJJA, working with the Department, a comprehensive rate study defining the true cost of residential services was conducted. This study established a model rate for service delivery across all levels of residential care and all specialty services.
FJJA established a food buyers group with a minority vendor allowing providers to both purchase food and chemicals at reduced costs while receiving CMBE credits for each purchase. This helped both the providers and the Department of Juvenile Justice to meet their minority participation targets.
FJJA was one of the primary authors of this unique financing program for substance abuse and mental health overlay services in juvenile justice residential programs.
FJJA advocated and lobbied for specialized funding to offer mental health, sex offender and substance abuse services to youth in state custody.
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