Get Involved!

Sign up as a Citizen Journalist and get involved in Information Activism.

Sign Up for Watchdog Updates!

Counties call juvenile justice rules “unfunded mandate”

St Johns County reported to Historic City News that, during the current fiscal year, juvenile offenders were held in custody a total of 826 days before their cases were disposed. Under the terms of an agreement, county taxpayers are legally responsible for those costs; but not the custodial costs once the case is disposed of.

Historic City News has learned that a Proposed Rule Hearing at the Department of Juvenile Justice headquarters in Tallahassee this morning will take up long-standing complaints in the way the state bills counties for the cost of care for juvenile detention.

The bone of contention, according to correspondence from the Florida Association of Counties to the Department, appears to be that, “For close to a decade, counties have had to shoulder the cost of secure juvenile detention — while having no control over the costs of the system.”

The Association has filed their objections to the proposed rules regarding the cost share between counties and the state, declaring the Department of Juvenile Justice’s regulations have compounded the burden on our local tax payers. The Department’s past failures to promulgate rules that comply with the law have resulted in counties paying upwards of $200 million more than they lawfully owed, according to Christopher L. Holley, the Association’s Executive Director.

As currently drafted, the Department’s proposed rule changes would transfer cost responsibility to the counties for all days after a youth is placed on probation — if that violation of probation is coupled with a new offense. During Fiscal year 2013-2014, the state estimated that the cost per day for each inmate is $326.13.

In St Johns County, this change could obligate local taxpayers for up to 1,433 additional days. It is estimated that this change will result in the counties paying approximately $57 million for secure detention in FY14-15, representing a $25 million cost shift from the state to the counties.

Michael Gold

As the Florida editor for Watchdog Wire, my goal is to work with other citizen journalists, like you, to help compensate for the lack of mainstream news reporting to expose waste, fraud and abuse that exists in government. My colleagues at Franklin Center, and peers in the Citizen Watchdog movement, share a belief that government transparency and accountability is not a conservative or liberal idea - it is an American idea. A free flow of information is essential to maintaining our free republic, and that starts with a free press -- and that starts with you.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - LinkedIn

Categories: Budget and Finance, Courts & Law, Policy
Tags: , , , ,

RELATED ARTICLES

  1. School Board salary negotiations are open to the public
  2. FL: Is the new $7.7 million Gulf Gate library costly duplication?
  3. Fraud in the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
  4. Florida Senator Bill Nelson blames border crisis on budget cuts that he voted for in 2011
  5. Report finds Florida is 6th “least socialist” state

COMMENTS

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Videos

Man protests lack of parking — ordered off public beach

Login