Section 985.4891, Florida Statutes 2009
985.4891 Sheriff's training and respect programs.--
(1)(a) For purposes of this section, the term "agency" means a county or municipal law enforcement agency.
(b) Contingent upon specific appropriation, local funding, or specific appropriation and local funding, an agency may, under contract with the department, implement and operate a sheriff's training and respect program to provide intensive education, physical training, and rehabilitation for children who are eligible under subsection (2). A sheriff's training and respect program shall be under the agency's supervisory authority as determined by the contract between the department and the agency.
(2) A child is eligible for placement in a sheriff's training and respect program if he or she:
(a) Is at least 14 years of age but less than 18 years of age at the time of adjudication.
(b) Has been committed to the department for any offense that, if committed by an adult, would be a felony other than a capital felony, a life felony, or a violent felony of the first degree.
(c) Is physically examined by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed and certified under chapter 464.
(d) Has a physical, psychological, and substance abuse profile that is conducive to successful completion of the program, as determined by the agency's and department's review of the preadmission physical examination under paragraph (c) and of preadmission psychological and substance abuse screenings, which must be conducted or ordered to be conducted by the department.
(e) Will be placed in the judicial circuit in which the child was adjudicated or, if there is no sheriff's training and respect program in that judicial circuit, the child may be placed in the judicial circuit nearest to the judicial circuit in which he or she was adjudicated which has a sheriff's training and respect program.
(3) A sheriff's training and respect program shall require children to:
(a) Receive a written, easily understandable statement that sets forth, and a verbal description of, their rights under this section. At the time of admission into the sheriff's training and respect program, each child must acknowledge in writing his or her receipt and understanding of the written statement and verbal description.
(b) Participate in physical training exercises.
(c) Complete educational, vocational, community service, and substance abuse programs.
(d) Receive training in life and job skills and in techniques for appropriate decisionmaking.
(e) Receive counseling that is directed at replacing criminal thinking, beliefs, and values with moral thinking, beliefs, and values.
(4) A sheriff's training and respect program must provide for youth medical treatment needs by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459, an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed and certified under chapter 464, or a registered nurse licensed under chapter 464 who works daily between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. and must provide for on-call access to at least one such medical professional at all other times.
(5) A sheriff's training and respect program shall be a moderate-risk residential program and must provide conditional release assessment and services in accordance with s. 985.46. The minimum period of participation in the residential component of a sheriff's training and respect program is 4 months; however, this subsection does not prohibit operation of a program that requires the participants to spend more than 4 months in the residential component of the program or that requires the participants to complete two sequential programs of 4 months each in the residential component of the program.
(6) Staff in a sheriff's training and respect program who exercise direct care, as defined in s. 985.645, shall comply with the Protective Action Response policy established in department rules adopted under s. 985.645(2)(a).
(7) The department shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 for the sheriff's training and respect program that specify:
(a) Requirements for the preadmission physical examinations and psychological and substance abuse screenings required by subsection (2).
(b) Authorized disciplinary sanctions and restrictions on the privileges of the general population of children in the program.
(c) Prohibitions on the use of harmful psychological intimidation techniques. For purposes of this section, the term "harmful psychological intimidation techniques":
1. Includes the following actions when intentionally used as a therapeutic or training technique or as a means to encourage compliance with program requirements:
a. The threat of physical force or violence.
b. An intentional attempt to humiliate or embarrass a child.
c. An intentional attempt to diminish a child's self-confidence or otherwise psychologically break a child's will.
d. Any action that would be considered child abuse or neglect under chapter 39 or chapter 827.
2. Does not include the following actions:
a. Direct and forceful communication to a child of program requirements or legitimate performance expectations prior to or during participation in program activities, including positive, active encouragement of children engaged in physical training exercises.
b. Communication necessary to inform a child of noncompliance with program requirements or appropriate actions to remediate such noncompliance.
c. Communication necessary to inform a child of poor performance or appropriate actions to remediate such poor performance.
d. Communications or other actions necessary to maintain order or safety in a program.
e. Any lawful and reasonable communications or actions that are permissible for parents, other juvenile justice programs, school officials, or other adults who have custody of or supervisory responsibilities for children.
(d) Requirements for provision of notice by the program to the department and for the removal of a child from the program if the child becomes unmanageable or ineligible for the program due to changes in his or her physical, psychological, or substance abuse profile.
(e) Requirements for the prominent display of the telephone number of the statewide abuse registry and for immediate access by children in the program, upon request, to a telephone for the purpose of contacting the statewide abuse registry, the public defender's office, his or her attorney, or a law enforcement agency.
(f) Requirements for the delivery of a copy of each child's exit statement under subsection (10) to the department by facsimile or electronic mail.
(8)(a) Evaluations under s. 985.632(5) of each sheriff's training and respect program shall be conducted quarterly during the first year of the program's operation. Thereafter, if the program met the minimum thresholds during its most recent evaluation, the program shall be evaluated at least once annually. If a sheriff's training and respect program fails to meet the minimum thresholds, the department shall cancel the contract for the program:
1. Immediately if the program has a deficiency in a critical lifesafety aspect of its operations, as defined in department rule, or has failed to train its staff as required under subsection (9).
2. If the program fails to achieve compliance with the minimum thresholds within 3 months, unless there are documented extenuating circumstances, as defined in department rule.
(b) Upon cancellation of a contract under paragraph (a), the program's operations shall immediately cease and the department shall immediately discontinue any state payments to the program.
(9)(a) The department shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 that establish training requirements that must be completed by staff in a sheriff's training and respect program within 90 calendar days following the person's date of hire, and that must, at a minimum, require:
1. Administrative staff to successfully complete 120 contact hours of department-approved training.
2. Staff who provide direct care, as defined in s. 985.645 to be:
a. Certified correctional, correctional probation, or law enforcement officers under chapter 943 and to receive at least 20 hours of department-approved training in the Protective Action Response policy established in department rules adopted under s. 985.645(2)(a); or
b. Certified in protective action response under s. 985.645(2)(b)-(e) and to successfully complete 200 contact hours of department-approved training, which must include, but is not limited to, training on:
(I) State and federal laws relating to child abuse.
(II) Authorized disciplinary sanctions and privilege restrictions under paragraph (7)(b) and prohibited harmful psychological intimidation techniques under paragraph (7)(c).
(III) Appropriate counseling techniques and aggression control methods.
(IV) Appropriate methods for dealing with children who have been placed in programs that emphasize physical fitness and personal discipline, including training on the identification of, and appropriate responses to, children who are experiencing physical or mental distress.
(V) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, choke-relief, and other emergency medical procedures.
(b) All department-approved training courses under this subsection must be taught by one or more persons who are certified as, or who have completed the necessary education and training to be, an instructor for the course being taught. A training course in counseling techniques must be taught by a person who has at least a bachelor's degree in social work, counseling, psychology, or a related field.
(c) A person who exercises direct care, as defined in s. 985.645, in a sheriff's training and respect program prior to successful completion of the training requirements in this subsection must be directly supervised by a person who has successfully completed the training requirements in this subsection.
(10) Prior to release of a child from a sheriff's training and respect program, the child:
(a) Must be physically examined by a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 or an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed and certified under chapter 464. Any evidence of abuse as defined in s. 39.01(2) must be documented and immediately reported by the examiner to the statewide abuse registry and the department.
(b) Must sign an exit statement indicating whether his or her rights under this section were observed and whether he or she was subjected to any abuse as defined in s. 39.01(2), harmful psychological intimidation techniques, or violations of the Protective Action Response policy established in department rules adopted under s. 985.645(2)(a). Any allegation by the child that:
1. He or she was subjected to abuse as defined in s. 39.01(2) in the sheriff's training and respect program must be investigated by the Department of Children and Family Services under s. 39.302.
2. His or her rights under this section were not observed or that he or she was subjected to harmful psychological intimidation techniques or to violations of the department's Protective Action Response policy must be investigated by the department's Inspector General.
(c) The sheriff's training and respect program shall deliver a copy of each child's exit statement at the time it is executed to:
1. The department in the manner prescribed under paragraph (7)(f).
2. The statewide abuse registry if it contains any allegation of abuse as defined in s. 39.01(2).
(11) The department must:
(a) Maintain records for each sheriff's training and respect program participant and shall monitor his or her recidivism, educational progress, and employment placement for at least 1 year following his or her release from the program. Recidivism statistics shall indicate the degree and severity of the criminal activity.
(b) Annually publish an outcome evaluation study of each sheriff's training and respect program that includes recidivism statistics.
(12) Children shall not be admitted to a sheriff's training and respect program until the department has adopted the rules required by this section and has verified that each program is in compliance with all laws and rules applicable to the program. The department may adopt emergency rules pursuant to s. 120.54(4) if necessary to allow operation of sheriff's training and respect programs beginning July 1, 2006.
History.--s. 6, ch. 2006-62.