External Resources

The following links are to other organizations and resources regarding juvenile delinquency and juvenile justice. Clicking the links on this page will take you away from the Florida Courts website.

Florida Laws and Rules

Florida Statutes set out the specific laws related to juvenile justice. Please refer to Chapter 985, Florida Statutes here.

Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure govern the procedures for juvenile cases. The rules for juvenile delinquency cases are found in Part II. The complete rules are available here.PDF Download

Juvenile Justice

The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has a wealth of helpful information on juvenile justice practices and programs in Florida. Start by reviewing a list of Frequently Asked Questions here.

Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI) is a detention reform and juvenile justice system improvement initiative started by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. JDAI has demonstrated that moving low-risk youth from secure detention into community-based alternative programs provides for public safety, reduces costs, and produces better outcomes for youth and their families. Learn more about JDAI and Florida’s pilot sites here.

A recent article about Florida’s JDAI successes is available here.

Civil Citation provides alternatives to arrest for youth who are first-time misdemeanor offenders. Learn more about Florida’s Civil Citation program here.

Implementing Evidence-Based Policy has been a major component in DJJ’s efforts to improve outcomes for your while efficiently fostering public safety. The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative named Florida as one of 11 established states in evidence-based policymaking in an article available here.

School-Justice Partnerships

School Justice Partnerships are collaborative effort among courts, schools, state agencies, service providers, and law enforcement to keep children in school and out of court. These partnerships provide alternatives to arrests, suspensions, and expulsions and lead to safer schools, higher graduation rates, and a reduction in juvenile court cases. Learn more about Florida’s School-Justice Partnerships here.

The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown University published an issue brief on education for system-involved youth. The brief also details several interagency collaborations that are being used to address these issues. The article is available here.

Community Action Teams (CAT) are an integrated service delivery approach that utilizes a team of individuals to comprehensively address the needs of the young person, and their family. The CAT model is intended to be a safe and effective treatment alternative to out-of-home placement for children with serious behavioral health conditions. Learn more about CATs here.

Juvenile Drug Treatment Courts

In June 2019, the NCJFCJ published several Practice Tip Sheets as a resource for Juvenile Drug Treatment Court teams to provide operational assistance for courts which are in the process of implementing the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court Guidelines.

Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) and Racial and Ethnic Disparities (RED)

Disproportionate Minority Contact Reports can be found on DJJ’s website here.

Center for Children’s Law and Policy (CCLP) is dedicated to a world where the response to youth who get in trouble with the law is developmentally appropriate, free of racial and ethnic bias, and focused on building strengths that help youth avoid further involvement with the justice system. Learn more about CCLP’s major initiatives here.

National Center for State Courts is an excellent source for court resources in general, and offers several resources on racial and ethnic disparity here. They also co-sponsored the creation of the Procedural Fairness/Procedural Justice Bench Card.

Coordination of Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Issues

Dually-Served Crossover Youth Profile is an interactive program that features maps, tables and charts comparing the general population of youth served by the Department of Juvenile Justice to youth who were in an out-of-home placement status such as foster care through the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) at the time of their contact with DJJ. The program can be accessed here.

Crossover Champions are juvenile justice and child welfare representatives who are charged with developing local procedures that will improve communication and collaboration across agencies. This directoryPDF Download provides contact information to assist courts, school districts, state agencies, service providers, and law enforcement with local, regional, and statewide collaborative efforts relating to crossover youth. 

National Resources

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is considered a leader in the provision of cutting-edge educational programming to professionals in the juvenile and family court system. NCJFCJ has worked for 80 years to improve the effectiveness of the nation’s juvenile courts. Learn more about NCJFCJ and access its wealth of resources.

The Individualizing Responses to Motivate Behavior Change in Youth: A Four-Pronged Approach was published June 12, 2019. This Guidebook provides recommendations on processes and procedures that will enable juvenile drug treatment courts to deliver objective, consistent, and effective responses to youth behavior. 

In January 2019, the NCJFCJ released Enhanced Juvenile Justice Guidelines, which addresses improvement of court practices in juvenile justice cases across the nation. This updated version contains up-to-date information on general court processes, initiating juvenile justice court processes, best practices in detention or initial hearings, waiver and transfer hearings, trial/adjudication hearings, disposition hearings, the appeals process, post-disposition reviews, and probation and parole violations.

Juvenile Court Statistics 2017 presents data on delinquency and status offense cases handled by courts with juvenile jurisdiction. National estimates are presented on 818,900 delinquency cases and 87,900 petitioned status offense cases handled in 2017 and trends since 2005 are described.

National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) is the research division of NCJFCJ and is the oldest juvenile justice research group in the United States. NCJJ has conducted research and provided objective, factual information that professionals and decision makers in the juvenile and family justice system use to increase effectiveness. Find NCJJ publications and resources here.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization. OJJDP offers a wealth of resources which are available here.

     Amongst the OJJDP resources, they have created a webpage that discusses the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, where a variety of resources on this topic are readily available, including the Department of Justice's National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, first published in 2010 and updated in 2016, which identifies innovative ways in which the federal government and its partners can address child exploitation and reaffirms the Department's and its partners' unwavering commitment to ensuring that all children in America are able to reach their potential in a nation that protects them from violence and abuse.

     OJJDP also has a page dedicated to the impact of trauma on children exposed to violence. The office also released current data on Girls in the Justice System. The bulletin reflects that girls’ involvement in the juvenile justice system decreased by more than 50 percent between 2006 and 2015. It also shows however, that females accounted for a relatively large share of youth arrests involving larceny-theft, simple assault, and disorderly conduct, indicating an increasing use of alternatives to commitment for these type female offenders nationally.

JUVJUST Listserv is a great email newsletter service that covers juvenile justice issues. The JuvJust newsletter is a product of OJJDP. Past issues and registration information is available here.

A Sourcebook of Delinquency Interventions catalogues information regarding cognitive-behavioral curriculum and community based family therapies that have been proven through research to reduce recidivism and/or criminogenic needs.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead federal agency for research on mental disorders. NIMH is one of the 27 Institutes and Centers that make up the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest biomedical research agency in the world. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They have developed a brochure to help community members, including the courts, know how to help children and adolescents who experience violence and disasters.