2020 Florida Statutes
985.17 Prevention services.—
(1) The Legislature finds that prevention services decrease recidivism by addressing the needs of at-risk youth and their families, preventing further involvement of such youth in the juvenile justice system, protecting the safety of the public, and facilitating successful reentry of at-risk youth into the community. To assist with decreasing recidivism, the department’s prevention services shall strengthen protective factors and reduce risk factors using tested and effective approaches.
(2) A goal of the department’s prevention services shall be to develop the capacity for local communities to serve their youth.
(a) The department shall engage faith and community-based organizations to provide a full range of voluntary programs and services to prevent and reduce juvenile delinquency, including, but not limited to, chaplaincy services, crisis intervention counseling, mentoring, and tutoring.
(b) The department shall establish volunteer coordinators in each circuit and encourage the recruitment of volunteers to serve as mentors for youth in department services.
(c) The department shall promote the sale of the Invest in Children license plate to help fund programs and services to prevent juvenile delinquency. The department shall allocate money for programs and services within each county based on that county’s proportionate share of the license plate annual use fees collected by the county.
(3) The department’s prevention services for youth at risk of becoming delinquent should:
(a) Focus on preventing initial or further involvement of such youth in the juvenile justice system by including services such as literacy services, gender-specific programming, recreational services, and after-school services, and should include targeted services to troubled, truant, ungovernable, abused, trafficked, or runaway youth. To decrease the likelihood that a youth will commit a delinquent act, the department should use mentoring and may provide specialized services addressing the strengthening of families, job training, and substance abuse.
(b) Address the multiple needs of such youth in order to decrease the prevalence of disproportionate minority representation in the juvenile justice system.
(4) The department shall expend funds related to the prevention services in a manner consistent with the policies expressed in ss. 984.02 and 985.01 and in a manner that maximizes accountability to the public and ensures the documentation of outcomes.
(a) As a condition of receipt of state funds, all entities that receive or use state moneys to fund prevention services through contracts with the department or grants from any entity dispersed by the department shall:
1. Design the programs providing such services to further one or more of the following strategies:
a. Encouraging youth to attend and succeed in school, which may include special assistance and tutoring to address deficiencies in academic performance and collecting outcome data to reveal the number of days youth attended school while participating in the program.
b. Engaging youth in productive and wholesome activities during nonschool hours that build positive character, instill positive values, and enhance educational experiences.
c. Encouraging youth to avoid the use of violence.
d. Assisting youth in acquiring the skills needed to find meaningful employment, which may include assisting the youth in finding a suitable employer.
2. Provide the department with demographic information, dates of services, and types of interventions received by each youth.
(b) The department shall monitor output and outcome measures for each program strategy in paragraph (a) and annually report the outputs and outcomes in the Comprehensive Accountability Report as provided in s. 985.632.
(c) The department shall monitor all state-funded programs that receive or use state moneys to fund the prevention services through contracts or grants with the department for compliance with all provisions in the contracts and grants.
History.—s. 13, ch. 2014-162.