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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

More Youth Are Admitted for Less Serious Offenses, in Part to Meet Treatment Needs, Report No. 03-76, December 2003
Full report in PDF format

  • Admissions to residential juvenile justice commitment have leveled off during recent years.  While most youth are committed for felonies, 40% are committed for misdemeanors and non-law violations of probation. 
  • This occurs in part because treatment resources are concentrated in the department’s residential commitment programs.  Delinquency judges report that youth sometimes are committed in order to obtain needed treatment.  Of youth in residential commitment programs, 76% are being treated for diagnosed mental health needs and 48% are being treated for diagnosed substance abuse needs. 
  • The department proposes to divert appropriate non-law violators to a Re-direction Program for treatment.  We endorse the treatment concept but propose an alternative that would allow the comparison of results and provide an additional $1 million in cost savings.
  • Approximately 29% of the department’s special needs residential programs received low quality assurance ratings for mental health and substance abuse.  The department should make performance on this standard a critical indicator for programs providing specialized mental health and substance abuse services.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Residential Correctional Facilities
Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 10-38 Redirection Saves $51.2 Million and Continues to Reduce Recidivism,published in April 2010.
  • Report No. 09-27 Redirection Saves $36.4 Million and Avoids $5.2 Million in Recommitment and Prison Costs,published in May 2009.
  • Report No. 07-10 Redirection Pilots Meet and Exceed Residential Commitment Outcomes; $5.8 Million Saved, published in February 2007.
  • Report No. 06-74 Progress Report: DJJ Has Reallocated Beds to Better Meet Needs and Improved Placement Processes, published in December 2006.
  • Report No. 06-34 Redirection as Effective as Residential Delinquency Programs, Achieved Substantial Cost Avoidance, published in March 2006.
  • Report No. 06-13 Effective Community Programs Could Reduce Commitments of Girls to Residential Programs, published in February 2006.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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