juvenile justice

Florida Channel

A plan to revamp mental health care in Florida’s criminal justice system passed its first House panel Wednesday.

MGN Online

Florida lawmakers are slated to take up a measure Wednesday reforming mental health care within the state’s criminal justice system.


Florida lawmakers are considering different ways to help the state’s juvenile offenders. The aim is to help them succeed in life and make sure they don’t head to the prison system.

MGN Online

A pair of proposals meant to help juvenile offenders passed their first Senate panels.


A measure expunging the criminal records of certain juveniles cleared its first House panel Tuesday.

MGN Online

27 bills are slated to take effect Thursday. They include new laws aimed at helping people with diabetes and delinquent juveniles.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Some Florida lawmakers are renewing a bipartisan effort making it easier to expunge the records of certain juvenile offenders.

Florida Channel

Governor Rick Scott signed more than 40 bills into law Thursday. It includes a measure expanding Florida’s civil citation program.

Florida Channel

Bills aimed at helping Florida’s youth have passed the state Senate Wednesday.


A bill expanding Florida’s civil citation program is heading to the House floor.

MGN Online

Both chambers of the Florida Legislature laid out their criminal justice budgets Wednesday. The House and Senate spending plans are similar—driven by a goal of helping Florida’s troubled prison system.


Several bills aimed at reforming Florida’s juvenile justice system cleared another hurdle in the House Monday.


A pair of juvenile justice reform bills is continuing to gain traction in the Florida Legislature.

Publik15 / Flickr

A bill reforming the way state prosecutors can charge juveniles as adults is starting to move in both chambers of the Florida Legislature.

Florida Channel

Two Democratic lawmakers have filed a bill to make it easier for minors to have their records expunged.

Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) says getting a record expunged is particularly problematic for African American youth who want to do things, like get a job, go to school, or join the army—but can’t because of mistakes made when they were younger.

“It puts them in a situation where they become the marketplace for recidivism. And, we want to be able to help to clear their records once they become 18 as opposed to waiting until they’re mid-to-late 20s.”

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

Later this month, the head of Florida’s juvenile justice system will be retiring. In the last of a two-part series, WFSU's Sascha Cordner continues the conversation with outgoing state Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters about her background, her work with the DJJ as well as a her future plans for when she leaves the agency.

Last week, we aired Part 1 of our conversation. Listen below to Part 2, which aired on Friday's Capital Report.

Sascha Cordner / WFSU-FM

WFSU’s Sascha Cordner sat down with outgoing Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters, who will be retiring in a month from her role, as first reported by the News Service of Florida. As the agency’s first female head, she’s also one of the longest serving agency heads under Governor Rick Scott. She’s been responsible for a number of innovations, including a civil citation program that has helped reduce the overall juvenile crime-rate.

Hear Part 1 of our conversation below. Stay tuned to next week's Capital Report to hear Part 2.

Lawmakers Push For More Juvenile Sentencing Guidelines

Mar 25, 2014
Flickr Creative Commons

Though it likely won’t become law this session, lawmakers are considering a proposal which would change the way prosecutors decide whether to charge kids as adults. Its supporters say the state needs more rules to protect juveniles. But detractors say prosecutors need leeway to do their jobs – and may be doing it better year after year.

James Madison Institute

As Florida looks to make sure released inmates don’t return to prison, should the Sunshine state look to other states, like Georgia, to learn about their criminal justice reforms?

Housing about 102,000 inmates, Florida’s prison system is the third-largest in the U.S. According to state economists, that number is projected to increase in the next few years. A contributing factor is the number of released inmates going back to prison. Recently, some, including current and former Florida officials, heard from their counterparts in Georgia about efforts there to reduce recidivism…

Indian River County Sheriffs Office

House lawmakers Wednesday attempted to square the state’s sex offender laws with the prospect of what to do with juveniles who break them.

Fourth Circuit Public Defender Rob Mason argued before the subcommittee that trying minors in the adult justice system only makes it more likely that they will re-offend. What’s more, he  claimed any children placed on sex offender registries become more likely, not less, to commit a similar crime again.

noyava / Flickr Creative Commons

Sentencing a minor to life in prison without the possibility of parole was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 in cases other than murder. Now the Florida Supreme Court is being asked to define just what a life sentence is. But, justices might find an easier question to answer by revisiting the way the state’s parole system works.