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DJJ says early releases could save millions

By Sascha Cordner


Tallahassee, FL – A new report by a Florida Senate Committee suggests the state's Department of juvenile Justice should be able to reduce the amount of time juveniles stay locked up. As Sascha Cordner reports, that could save the state millions of dollars and benefit children in the process.

Normally, only a judge can release a juvenile offender who has completed a mandatory program. But, a new report from the State Senate Criminal Justice Committee could convince Florida lawmakers to give that early-release power to the Department of Juvenile Justice. If so, the research shows it may reduce the chance of children re-offending and save the state money. DJJ's Chief of Research and Planning Mark Greenwald:

"We're doing what research and our information is telling us is giving us better results, rather than what we think is giving better results."

The report estimated DJJ could save the state more than four million dollars a year. Florida TaxWatch and the Southern Poverty Law Center supplied the numbers used in the report.