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Speaking To Lawmaking Panel, DJJ Head Responds To Miami Herald's 'Fight Club' Probe

Florida Channel

The head of Florida’s juvenile justice system says a Miami Herald investigation detailing abuses within detention facilities does not tell the full story.

Backed up by video evidence and testimony from young juvenile offenders, a Miami Herald investigation paints a picture of physical and sexual abuse by detention officers and staffers as well as horror stories of “fight clubs” featuring juveniles.

In a recent statement, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary Christy Daly said the investigative series “failed to recognize the transformation of the juvenile justice system in recent years.” And, she made similar remarks to a panel of lawmakers Wednesday.

“I will not deny or discredit or downplay some of the horrible incidents that have happened. We respond appropriately to those,” said Daly to members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice. “We hold people accountable. If we need to change policies and procedures, we do so. But, it is not representative of this system.”

Florida lawmakers are expected to soon hold a committee hearing on Miami Herald’s investigation into DJJ.

Listen here to the audio version of the investigative series by member station WLRN.

Stay tuned to Friday's Capital Report for more on this story. Click here for that story.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.