Florida Channel

What’s ahead legislatively for Florida prison and juvenile justice systems?

Sen. Randolph Bracy (D-Ocoee)
Florida Senate / Florida Senate

For the first time in two decades, the Republican-led Florida Senate is getting its first black Democratic criminal justice chair. It's a former state Representative turned Senate freshman.

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice

What’s on tap for Florida’s Juvenile Justice system in 2017? Officials have comprised their legislative wish list, aimed at helping both juveniles and the staff who cares for them.

MGN Online

In the last several days, a number of bills aimed at helping Florida’s criminal justice and juvenile justice systems have passed in either chamber of the state Legislature. They range from a measure to prevent inmate escapes to another that aims to revamp the juvenile justice system.

Bill Addressing Inmate Escapes

Making sure prison release orders are properly verified is the goal of bill authored by Sen. Greg Evers (R-Baker) in his capacity as chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

Capital Report: 04-16-2014

Apr 16, 2014

Florida’s counties say the state owes them money. They claim they’ve been overcharged for helping pay the cost of juveniles in detention centers. Lynn Hatter reports the two sides appear close to reaching a deal on how to split the costs going forward—but a conflict is brewing over whether the state should have to reimburse the counties for past expenses.

Capital Report: 03-24-2014

Mar 24, 2014

The relationship between traditional public schools and their charter counterparts has long been fraught with tension.  That relationship may get even worse, despite claims by Florida lawmakers.  Lynn Hatter reports school districts are fighting a proposal to standardize charter school contracts that opponents say strips critical decision making from locally-elected school officials.

Capital Report: 03-06-2014

Mar 6, 2014

More than 200 Floridians serving life in prison for crimes they committed as minors could get new sentencing hearings, depending on how the state Supreme Court rules on a case it heard today [Thursday]. As Jessica Palombo reports, the court must decide whether a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision applies retroactively to previously sentenced juveniles.


A bill aiming to reform Florida’s juvenile justice system recently won unanimous support during its first Senate hearing. But, some say the measure could still do more.

Fleming Island Republican Senator Rob Bradley’s bill aims to rewrite Florida law that governs juvenile justice to focus on ways to help the state’s delinquent kids. Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Wansley Walters says it’s the first time in more than a decade there’s been a revision, and she’s on board.

Florida’s 2013 lawmaking session is slowly fading into the mists of history.  But although lawmakers may have finished their work, some of what they did or didn’t do could prompt much more work on the part of the state’s courts.  It’s a bit like a game of legal ping pong.

Florida used to have a law that fined people whose car radios could be heard more than 25 feet away. Last year, the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of a man who challenged that law. The verdict? Turn it up.

Enhancing the penalties for someone who murders a child under the age of 18 could be one step closer to becoming law.  While a measure doing just that recently passed the Florida House, some Democrats say the bill could negatively impact juveniles and is an unconstitutional measure.

Republican Representative Frank Artiles of Miami is the sponsor of the bill that would create stricter penalties for anyone who murders a child age 17 and younger.