Lawmakers examine juvenile justice reform

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A bill that introduces new accountability measures for juvenile justice facilities moved closer to passing out of its first committee stop on Thursday, reports the News Service of Florida. During a workshop on SB 84 at the Senate PreK-12 Education Committee, lawmakers heard feedback from some of the private companies that help run some of the state’s residential facilities. All gave the bill a tentative thumbs up, but said they will like to see some changes. Some of the critiques centered around the new performance rating system to track student performance while in these facilities. Students are only in juvenile justice facilities an average of 7.8 months, according to the Florida Juvenile Justice Association, which makes it difficult to complete workforce training certificate programs or make learning gains as required in the bill. Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Ft. Myers, also said she was concerned the punishment for low-performing providers

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.