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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Qualifications, Screening, Salaries, and Training Affect Quality and Turnover of Juvenile Justice Employees, Report No. 05-46, September 2005
Full report in PDF format

  • Florida’s minimum educational requirements for juvenile justice staff parallel those of similar states, and the department is making the process of checking staff’s criminal history more timely and thorough.
  • Salaries paid to direct care staff by most private providers are lower than those paid by the state (although salaries of private provider program directors are higher).  Providers assert that this is due to limited increases in per diem rates over time.
  • Salary is one of several factors that contribute to staff turnover, which increases overtime, hiring, and training costs.  However, programs can reduce turnover by selecting employees who relate to youth in positive ways; involving direct care staff in treatment; and fostering good relationships among staff.
  • Training requirements for state employees, who must become certified, are higher than those of private provider staff.  A new workgroup will study the feasibility of certification for private provider staff.  More staff training is needed on de-escalating potentially dangerous situations and modeling and helping youth learn pro-social skills and attitudes.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Department of Juvenile Justice - Detention
Department of Juvenile Justice
Probation and Community Corrections
Residential Correctional Facilities

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 10-42 Steps Taken to Improve Juvenile Justice Direct-Care Staff Screening and Training, published in May 2010.
  • Report No. 06-34 Redirection as Effective as Residential Delinquency Programs, Achieved Substantial Cost Avoidance, published in March 2006.
  • Report No. 05-56 Gender-Specific Services for Delinquent Girls Vary Across Prevention, Detention, and Probation Programs, published in December 2005.

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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