(1) CRITERIA.—A “serious or habitual juvenile offender,” for purposes of commitment to a residential facility and for purposes of records retention, means a child who has been found to have committed a delinquent act or a violation of law, in the case currently before the court, and who meets at least one of the following criteria:
(a) The child is at least 13 years of age at the time of the disposition for the current offense and has been adjudicated on the current offense for:
2. Sexual battery;
5. Aggravated child abuse;
6. Aggravated assault;
7. Aggravated stalking;
10. Unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb;
11. Armed burglary;
12. Aggravated battery;
13. Any lewd or lascivious offense committed upon or in the presence of a person less than 16 years of age; or
14. Carrying, displaying, using, threatening, or attempting to use a weapon or firearm during the commission of a felony.
(b) The child is at least 13 years of age at the time of the disposition, the current offense is a felony, and the child has previously been committed at least two times to a delinquency commitment program.
(c) The child is at least 13 years of age and is currently committed for a felony offense and transferred from a moderate-risk or high-risk residential commitment placement.
(2) DETERMINATION.—After a child has been adjudicated delinquent under s. 985.35, the court shall determine whether the child meets the criteria for a serious or habitual juvenile offender under subsection (1). If the court determines that the child does not meet such criteria, ss. 985.435, 985.437, 985.439, 985.441, 985.445, 985.45, and 985.455 shall apply.
(3) PLACEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS.—After a child has been transferred for criminal prosecution, a circuit court judge may direct a juvenile probation officer to consult with designated staff from an appropriate serious or habitual juvenile offender program for the purpose of making recommendations to the court regarding the child’s placement in such program.
(4) TIME AND PLACE FOR RECOMMENDATIONS.—Recommendations as to a child’s placement in a serious or habitual juvenile offender program shall be presented to the court within 72 hours after the adjudication or conviction, and may be based on a preliminary screening of the child at appropriate sites, considering the child’s location while court action is pending, which may include the nearest regional detention center or facility or jail.
(5) REPORTING RECOMMENDATIONS TO COURT.—Based on the recommendations of the multidisciplinary assessment, the juvenile probation officer shall make the following recommendations to the court:
(a) For each child who has not been transferred for criminal prosecution, the juvenile probation officer shall recommend whether placement in such program is appropriate and needed.
(b) For each child who has been transferred for criminal prosecution, the juvenile probation officer shall recommend whether the most appropriate placement for the child is a juvenile justice system program, including a serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility, or placement in the adult correctional system.
If treatment provided by a serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility is determined to be appropriate and needed and placement is available, the juvenile probation officer and the court shall identify the appropriate serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility best suited to the needs of the child.
(6) ACTION ON RECOMMENDATIONS.—The treatment and placement recommendations shall be submitted to the court for further action under this subsection:
(a) If it is recommended that placement in a serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility is inappropriate, the court shall make an alternative disposition using the recommendation as a guide.
(b) If it is recommended that placement in a serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility is appropriate, the court may commit the child to the department for placement in the restrictiveness level designated for serious or habitual delinquent children programs.
(7) DURATION OF COMMITMENT.—Any commitment of a child to the department for placement in a serious or habitual juvenile offender program or facility shall be for an indeterminate period of time, but the time shall not exceed the maximum term of imprisonment that an adult may serve for the same offense.
(8) ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT SERVICES.—Pursuant to this chapter and the establishment of appropriate program guidelines and standards, contractual instruments, which shall include safeguards of all constitutional rights, shall be developed as follows:
(a) The department shall provide for:
1. Oversight of the implementation of assessment and treatment approaches.
2. Identification and prequalification of appropriate individuals or not-for-profit organizations, including minority individuals or organizations when possible, to provide assessment and treatment services to serious or habitual delinquent children.
3. Monitoring and evaluation of assessment and treatment services for compliance with this chapter and all applicable rules and guidelines pursuant thereto.
(b) Assessment shall generally comprise the first 30 days of treatment and be provided by the same provider as treatment, but assessment and treatment services may be provided by separate providers, where warranted. Providers shall be selected who have the capacity to assess and treat the unique problems presented by children with different racial and ethnic backgrounds. The department shall retain contractual authority to reject any assessment or treatment provider for lack of qualification.
(9) SERIOUS OR HABITUAL JUVENILE OFFENDER PROGRAM.—
(a) There is created the serious or habitual juvenile offender program. The program shall consist of at least 9 months of intensive secure residential treatment. Conditional release assessment and services shall be provided in accordance with s. 985.46. The components of the program shall include, but not be limited to:
1. Diagnostic evaluation services.
2. Appropriate treatment modalities, including substance abuse intervention, mental health services, and sexual behavior dysfunction interventions and gang-related behavior interventions.
3. Prevocational and vocational services.
4. Job training, job placement, and employability-skills training.
5. Case management services.
6. Educational services, including special education and pre-GED literacy.
7. Self-sufficiency planning.
8. Independent living skills.
9. Parenting skills.
10. Recreational and leisure time activities.
11. Community involvement opportunities commencing, where appropriate, with the direct and timely payment of restitution to the victim.
12. Intensive conditional release supervision.
13. Graduated reentry into the community.
14. A diversity of forms of individual and family treatment appropriate to and consistent with the child’s needs.
15. Consistent and clear consequences for misconduct.
(b) The department is authorized to contract with private companies to provide some or all of the components indicated in paragraph (a).
(c) The department shall involve local law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, school board personnel, the office of the state attorney, the office of the public defender, and community service agencies interested in or currently working with juveniles, in planning and developing this program.
(d) The department is authorized to accept funds or in-kind contributions from public or private sources to be used for the purposes of this section.
(10) PRINCIPLES AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT.—
(a) Assessment and treatment shall be conducted by treatment professionals with expertise in specific treatment procedures. These professionals shall exercise all professional judgment independently of the department.
(b) Treatment provided to children in designated facilities shall be suited to the assessed needs of each individual child and shall be administered safely and humanely, with respect for human dignity.
(c) The department may promulgate rules for the implementation and operation of programs and facilities for serious or habitual juvenile offenders.
(d) Any provider who acts in good faith is immune from civil or criminal liability for his or her actions in connection with the assessment, treatment, or transportation of a serious or habitual juvenile offender under this chapter.
(e) The following provisions shall apply to children in serious or habitual juvenile offender programs and facilities:
1. A child shall begin participation in the conditional release component of the program based upon a determination made by the treatment provider and approved by the department.
2. A child shall begin participation in the community supervision component of conditional release based upon a determination made by the treatment provider and approved by the department. The treatment provider shall give written notice of the determination to the circuit court having jurisdiction over the child. If the court does not respond with a written objection within 10 days, the child shall begin the conditional release component.
3. A child shall be discharged from the program based upon a determination made by the treatment provider with the approval of the department.
4. In situations where the department does not agree with the decision of the treatment provider, a reassessment shall be performed, and the department shall use the reassessment determination to resolve the disagreement and make a final decision.
(11) ASSESSMENTS, TESTING, RECORDS, AND INFORMATION.—
(a) Pursuant to this section, the department shall implement the comprehensive assessment instrument for the treatment needs of serious or habitual juvenile offenders and for the assessment, which assessment shall include the criteria under subsection (1) and shall also include, but not be limited to, evaluation of the child’s:
1. Amenability to treatment.
2. Proclivity toward violence.
3. Tendency toward gang involvement.
4. Substance abuse or addiction and the level thereof.
5. History of being a victim of child abuse or sexual abuse, or indication of sexual behavior dysfunction.
6. Number and type of previous adjudications, findings of guilt, and convictions.
7. Potential for rehabilitation.
(b) The department shall contract with multiple individuals or not-for-profit organizations to perform the assessments and treatment, and shall ensure that the staff of each provider is appropriately trained.
(c) Assessment and treatment providers shall have a written procedure developed, in consultation with licensed treatment professionals, establishing conditions under which a child’s blood and urine samples will be tested for substance abuse indications. The person receiving the test results may divulge the test results to the relevant facility staff and department personnel; however, such information is exempt from ss. 119.01 and 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
(d) Serologic blood test and urinalysis results obtained under paragraph (c) are confidential, except that they may be shared with employees or officers of the department, the court, and any assessment or treatment provider and designated facility treating the child. No person to whom the results of a test have been disclosed under this section may disclose the test results to another person not authorized under this section.
(e) The results of any serologic blood or urine test on a serious or habitual juvenile offender shall become a part of that child’s medical file. Upon transfer of the child to any other designated treatment facility, such file shall be transferred in an envelope marked confidential. The results of any test designed to identify the human immunodeficiency virus, or its antigen or antibody, shall be accessible only to persons designated by rule of the department. The provisions of such rule shall be consistent with the guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
(f) A record of the assessment and treatment of each serious or habitual juvenile offender shall be maintained by the provider, which shall include data pertaining to the child’s treatment and such other information as may be required under rules of the department. Unless waived by express and informed consent by the child or the guardian or, if the child is deceased, by the child’s personal representative or by the person who stands next in line of intestate succession, the privileged and confidential status of the clinical assessment and treatment record shall not be lost by either authorized or unauthorized disclosure to any person, organization, or agency.
(g) The assessment and treatment record shall not be a public record, and no part of it shall be released, except that:
1. The record shall be released to such persons and agencies as are designated by the child or the guardian.
2. The record shall be released to persons authorized by order of court, excluding matters privileged by other provisions of law.
3. The record or any part thereof shall be disclosed to a qualified researcher, as defined by rule; a staff member of the designated treatment facility; or an employee of the department when the administrator of the facility or the Secretary of Juvenile Justice deems it necessary for treatment of the child, maintenance of adequate records, compilation of treatment data, or evaluation of programs.
4. Information from the assessment and treatment record may be used for statistical and research purposes if the information is abstracted in such a way as to protect the identity of individuals.
(h) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section, the department may request, receive, and provide assessment and treatment information to facilitate treatment, rehabilitation, and continuity of care of any serious or habitual juvenile offender from any of the following:
1. The Social Security Administration and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.
2. Law enforcement agencies, state attorneys, defense attorneys, and judges in regard to the child’s status.
3. Personnel in any facility in which the child may be placed.
4. Community agencies and others expected to provide services to the child upon his or her return to the community.
(i) Any law enforcement agency, designated treatment facility, governmental or community agency, or other entity that receives information under this section shall maintain such information as a nonpublic record as otherwise provided herein.
(j) Any agency, not-for-profit organization, or treatment professional who acts in good faith in releasing information under this subsection shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability for such release.
(k) Assessment and treatment records are confidential as described in this paragraph and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
1. The department shall have full access to the assessment and treatment records to ensure coordination of services to the child.
2. The principles of confidentiality of records provided in s. 985.04 apply to the assessment and treatment records of serious or habitual juvenile offenders.
(l) For purposes of effective administration, accurate tracking and recordkeeping, and optimal treatment decisions, each assessment and treatment provider shall maintain a central identification file on the serious or habitual juvenile offenders it treats.
(m) The file of each serious or habitual juvenile offender shall contain, but is not limited to, pertinent children-in-need-of-services and delinquency record information maintained by the department; pertinent school records information on behavior, attendance, and achievement; and pertinent information on delinquency or children in need of services maintained by law enforcement agencies and the state attorney.
(n) All providers under this section shall, as part of their contractual duties, collect, maintain, and report to the department all information necessary to comply with mandatory reporting pursuant to the promulgation of rules by the department for the implementation of serious or habitual juvenile offender programs and the monitoring and evaluation thereof.
(o) The department is responsible for the development and maintenance of a statewide automated tracking system for serious or habitual juvenile offenders.
(12) DESIGNATED TREATMENT FACILITIES.—
(a) Designated facilities shall be sited and constructed by the department, directly or by contract, pursuant to departmental rules, to ensure that facility design is compatible with treatment. The department is authorized to contract for the construction of the facilities and may also lease facilities. The number of beds per facility shall not exceed 25. An assessment of need for additional facilities shall be conducted prior to the siting or construction of more than one facility in any judicial circuit.
(b) Designated facilities for serious or habitual juvenile offenders shall be separate and secure facilities established under the authority of the department for the treatment of such children.
(c) Security for designated facilities for serious or habitual juvenile offenders shall be determined by the department. The department is authorized to contract for the provision of security.
(d) With respect to the treatment of serious or habitual juvenile offenders under this section, designated facilities shall be immune from liability for civil damages except in instances when the failure to act in good faith results in serious injury or death, in which case liability shall be governed by s. 768.28.
(e) Minimum standards and requirements for designated treatment facilities shall be contractually prescribed under subsection (8).
History.—s. 5, ch. 90-208; s. 2, ch. 92-287; s. 57, ch. 93-268; s. 223, ch. 95-147; s. 1, ch. 95-152; s. 1, ch. 95-256; s. 3, ch. 96-398; s. 14, ch. 96-406; s. 22, ch. 97-95; ss. 3, 54, ch. 97-238; s. 2, ch. 98-55; s. 22, ch. 98-207; s. 134, ch. 99-3; s. 14, ch. 99-201; ss. 9, 27, ch. 99-284; ss. 18, 38, ch. 2000-135; ss. 14, 30, ch. 2001-125; s. 27, ch. 2004-335; ss. 1, 17, ch. 2005-263; s. 10, ch. 2006-62; s. 56, ch. 2006-120; s. 169, ch. 2010-102; s. 19, ch. 2010-113.
Note.—Subsection (1) former s. 985.03(49). Subsections (2)-(7) former s. 39.058(3)(e)-(i), (k); s. 985.31(3)(e)-(i), (k). Subsections (8), (9) former s. 39.058(1), (2); s. 985.31(1), (2). Paragraphs (10)(a)-(d) former s. 39.058(3)(a)-(d); s. 985.31(3)(a)-(d). Paragraph (10)(e) former s. 39.058(3)(j); s. 985.31(3)(j). Subsections (11), (12) former s. 39.058(4), (5); s. 985.31(4), (5).