TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/News Service of Florida) – The 2014 legislative session saw major gains for juvenile justice issues in Florida while also seeking to bolster the independence of foster children.
Lawmakers passed a rewrite (HB 7055) of laws governing the Department of Juvenile Justice, emphasizing prevention, increasing the agency’s accountability and creating a criminal penalty for the abuse or neglect of teens in its facilities.
On their fourth try, lawmakers passed a juvenile-sentencing proposal (HB 7035) that, if signed by Gov. Rick Scott, will bring the state into compliance with two major U.S. Supreme Court rulings.
And they passed a measure (HB 7141) aimed at Florida’s high rate of human trafficking activity, providing a wide array of services for sexually exploited children.
“2014 was a huge year for juvenile-justice reform and policy in the state of Florida,” said Sen. Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican who is chairman of the Senate…
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